Chavez Continues Impressive Spring with Fifth Win, A’s Beat Giants 4-1

Photo Courtesy USA Today
Photo Courtesy USA Today

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO – A’s pitcher Jesse Chavez (5-1, 2.22 ERA) looked great in his seventh appearance of spring training and beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-1. Chavez continued his domination during spring training as he took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth inning until Angel Pagan hit a double to get the Giant’s their first hit of the game. John Jaso and Sam Fuld provided the offensive power for the A’s tonight while the Giants were only able to score one run in the bottom of the ninth.

“It was a good one to finish off like that and go into the season and build off  of that one,” said Chavez on the win tonight. “Getting ahead was key for me tonight. If you can get ahead, you’re more than likely to succeed.”

On Chavez, Coach Bob Melvin said “Jesse’s been really sharp and efficient this spring. He had a really good cutter tonight and mixed his curve ball in just enough to slow him down a bit. He was on the corners all night.”

Tonight’s win solidified Chavez as a bona fied  starter in the A’s rotation and gives the Oakland faithful something to be grateful for after losing Jarrod Parker for the season. When asked about being a starter and how to keep it going, Chavez said, “I can’t get complacent. I still have to stay after it and keep doing what I’m doing and not change anything. I’ve been able to focus a lot more knowing that I have to go through line up three or four times. I’m happy that they have the confidence in me to put in me in the rotation and I don’t want them to think they made the wrong decision.”

“This is something he’s always strives for is to be a starter. He’s earned, he deserves it and you can see his confidence grows each time he goes out there,”said Melvin echoing his confidence in Chavez.

On offense, Oakland’s John Jaso hit his first homer of spring training on a first pitch 2-seam fast ball from Tim Lincecum (1-1, 5.79 ERA) to give the A’s a 1-0 lead in the third.

In the top of the fourth, the Giants biggest fear came to reality when Daric Barton hit a shot into Lincecum’s left leg and immediately dropped him. After stretching on the ground and taking time to make sure nothing was broken, the Giants were able to get Lincecum to get off the field with some help from the trainers. Luckily it was a left knee contusion and x-rays didn’t find anything.

“You never want anybody to see get hit by a come backer especially someone of his caliber,” said Chavez.

In the fifth, Jaso walked, Nick Punto doubled and Daric Barton walked to get the bases loaded for  spring training phenom Sam Flud. Flud didn’t disappoint as he took a 2-seam fastball to right field past the out-stretched body of Brandon Belt and into the deep part of right field that Hunter Pence had to scoop up and relay to home. By the time the ball reached home Flud was standing at third and had three more RBI added to his stat sheet to give the A’s a 4-0 lead.

The Giants were able to break up the no-hitter that Chavez had going into the sixth when Angel Pagan hit a double to A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. After the hit, Melvin pulled Chavez ended  his night with 5 1/3 innings pitched with one hit, one walk and five strike outs.

“I don’t normally take out guys of potential no-hitters,” Melvin said. “At the time, I was almost glad that Pagan got the hit, to tell you the truth. But it was impressive. He was on it all night.”

The Giants were able to get to A’s closer Jim Johnson for one run in the bottom of the ninth but then he settled down and got Sanchez to fly out to Flud to end the game.

Both teams head to the other side of the Bay to continue the Bay Bridge series in Oakland when Dan Strailey takes on the Giant’s Edwin Escobar, game time 1:05 pm.


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