OAKLAND — Ross Detwiler turned in the game of his career Wednesday night.
Of course, he was simply continuing a trend for the A’s.
The veteran left-hander blanked the Orioles over a career-high eight innings as the A’s won their third in a row over Baltimore, 1-0, at the Coliseum. In his A’s debut, Detwiler rang up his first major league victory as a starter since May 10, 2013, when he was a Washington National.
His outing continued the theme for Oakland so far in this four-game series: Get great starting pitching, mix in just a tad of offense and make it stand. The A’s have scored a grand total of six runs in this series but have parlayed that into three victories. In the process, they’ve knocked the Orioles out of first place in the American League East. Toronto’s victory Wednesday gave them sole possession of the top spot.
Detwiler, acquired for cash from Cleveland on July 17, was added to the roster Wednesday after winning four starts in a row for Triple-A Nashville. The A’s are his third organization since being released by the Rangers in July of last season. He made seven relief appearances for the Indians this season but was starting at Triple-A Columbus when the A’s got him.
The A’s are down to two healthy starters right now in their rotation. But just as it seemed their starting staff was being held together by a thread, they’ve grouped together three stellar efforts. Kendall Graveman allowed just a single run in seven innings Monday. Then Zach Neal, subbing in from the bullpen, threw 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball Tuesday for the best outing of his career. The 30-year-old Detwiler (1-0) stepped up big Wednesday, holding a powerful Orioles lineup to just six hits. He struck out two and didn’t issue a walk.
The A’s got the only run they needed in the third on Yonder Alonso’s run-scoring double off Yovani Gallardo (4-4), taking care of business in a tidy 2 hours, 24 minutes.
Starting pitching report
Detwiler became the 12th pitcher to start a game for Oakland this season, tied with the Angels for the most starters used in the AL. It was also the fifth time in the past six games that the A’s starter did not issue a walk.
With Ryan Madson having saved each of the last two games, manager Bob Melvin gave his closer the night off, and John Axford nailed down his second save.
At the plate
The A’s didn’t do much against Gallardo. Then again, they didn’t have to.
They got back-to-back two-out doubles from Marcus Semien and Alonso to break a scoreless tie. With Stephen Vogt getting the night off, Alonso was making his first start of the year as the No. 3 hitter. He went 2-for-3 for his fifth multi-hit game in his past 10 contests. He entered the game hitting .345 over his previous nine games.
In the field
The Orioles looked primed to take a lead in the first when J.J. Hardy doubled over the head of Danny Valencia in right field. But Adam Jones, running from second, was apparently unsure if Valencia would catch the ball and got a late break from second. He was out on a 9-4-2 putout at the plate, though it took a replay reversal on a close play in which Jones was originally called safe. Second baseman Max Muncy’s strong and accurate throw made the play possible.
The announced turnout was 13,481.
This four-game series wraps with Thursday’s 12:35 p.m. contest. Andrew Triggs (0-0, 5.35) makes his second start of the season for Oakland, while Chris Tillman (14-4, 3.50) goes for the Orioles.