A’s shut out Tigers for third-straight win

It took until Memorial Day, but the A’s finally won their third-straight game for the first time this season, beating the Detroit Tigers 4-0 on nine hits and three errors behind a sparkling Jesse Hahn.

Hahn earned the complete game shutout win with a four-hit, five-strikeout performance, walking just one over nine innings.

Hahn’s outing was backed by a four-run sixth inning off Detroit starter Shane Greene (L, 4-3, 4.27 ERA), the only inning in which Oakland scored, and contributions from all parts of the order.

Shortstop Marcus Semien scored on a single by designated hitter Billy Butler, then Josh Reddick scored on a double hit by third baseman Max Muncy. Mark Canha, who’s become the A’s primary first baseman, sacrificed Butler home.

The inning was capped by an exciting double by Sam Fuld — which would have been a single if the man had average speed — which scored Muncy.

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

Oakland’s 17th win of the season marks the first time since August 2014 — 90 games — that the A’s have won three straight.

It’s also the first time Oakland has won three consecutive day games since July of 2014, when they won six straight. Oakland starters are also on their own streak: Three consecutive games without allowing a run.

The defense, though, has been consistently sloppy all season. Monday was no different, with three total errors, two on Muncy and one on the league leader, Semien. Nonetheless, Oakland has some things going now.

Hahn (W, 2-4, 3.69 ERA) didn’t shake off catcher Stephen Vogt one time Monday afternoon, allowing his help to lead the way so he could relax into a groove.

It was Hahn’s first complete game since he started his first college game at Virginia Poly, and he cherished every moment he can. With a smile on his face, Hahn said:

“It’s a great feeling. … It’s awesome. I have so much adrenaline pumping through my veins.”

If Hahn walked the first batter or two of the ninth inning, Melvin was going to pull him. But that didn’t happen. Hahn said:

“It just shows (Melvin) has confidence in me.”

Hahn is still in his first big league season of accrued service time, and has only 127 innings of work to his name. But he has been improving with every start in Oakland, and Melvin has taken note of it:

“I think he realizes now when he has good stuff, he just has to throw it over the plate. And that allows him to go deep in games.”

Melvin talked about a few of Hahn’s pitches Monday, but the focus was on his sinker, which Hahn has yet to allow a home run on this season.

After allowing a home run in six of the last eight games, the long ball is something A’s pitchers have been desperately trying to avoid.

Something else the A’s have been trying to avoid is another losing streak. And the makings of a fairly decent winning streak are in play. Melvin said:

“It feels better than when we don’t (win). It’s our first three game win streak of the year, so we’re going to enjoy it. You’re always going to try and get some momentum back.”

The A’s have scored 16 runs over the past three games, and allowed only two runs. Hahn added:

“It only takes a few. This team is good, and we’re playing good baseball right now.”

Streaks have been good for the A’s on the 25th of May, like a winning streak established in 1931, when the Philadelphia A’s won their 17th in a row with a 4-2 win over the Yankees. That streak was the franchise record until 2002, when the Oakland A’s won 20 straight.

Jesse Chavez (1-4, 2.89 ERA) and the A’s will try to keep things going Tuesday night against Detroit.

Notes

Max Muncy‘s 10th hit of the season was his sixth extra base hit this year, proving to be a clutch pinch hitting candidate or fill in when regular third baseman Brett Lawrie is unavailable. … Outfielder Josh Reddick, too, has shown a knack for extra bases, as he recorded his third triple of the season, and 10th for extra bases. Reddick also sports the best home batting average in the majors, hitting .431 at home versus .255 on the road. … The A’s are 8-16 in May after going 9-14 in April, showing mild improvement. But there remains some issues, none more paramount that the trouble against lefty pitching. The A’s only have one win versus southpaws, and will face lefty David Price (3-1, 3.32 ERA) Tuesday evening.


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