Mike Minor was as expected in first start with Oakland A’s

Mike Minor’s first start for the Oakland A’s went about as well as anyone could have realistically hoped for.

On Tuesday, Mike Minor made his first start for the Oakland A’s. It was just his second appearance for the A’s since being acquired at the trade deadline, and his first start since August 28. There was bound to be some rust and it was unlikely that Minor would be able to pitch deep into the game.

For the first three innings, Minor was everything that the A’s could have hoped for. He allowed just one hit, striking out four batters, as he quickly dispatched the Astros. With the A’s in the second game of their doubleheader, and just needing seven innings, the hope was that Minor could, at worst, last five innings.

Instead, it all came apart in the fourth inning. Minor began to labor on the mound with the Astros taking full advantage. He allowed two hits, issued a walk, and hit another batter while recording just one out in the inning, leaving the bases loaded. Unfortunately, Yusmeiro Petit had his own command issues, allowing all three inherited runners to score.

That meltdown by Petit skewed Minor’s final stat line. Based on the box score, Minor had a rough outing, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in his 3.1 innings of work. There were positives, as he struck out four batters, but this is a case where the box score does not tell the full story.

Instead, Minor gave the A’s what he could. He dominated for his first three innings before tiring in the fourth. As he had not made a nearly two weeks, and had just 20 pitches in his one outing for the A’s to that point, some rust had to be expected.

Minor also showed what could be as he ramps back up. If the A’s keep him in the rotation, he has the potential to be a top of the rotation arm, someone that can make a difference in the postseason. But he needs to get back to a starter’s workload first – his 63 pitches on Tuesday would not be enough.

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Mike Minor had a solid first start for the Oakland A’s. Now he needs to get his pitch count back up.