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JP Sears dazzles as A’s clip Tigers 1-0 in 10 innings

Sears pitched into the eighth and the A’s scratched across a run late to win.

Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

JP Sears turned in an impressive performance and the Oakland Athletics outlasted the Detroit Tigers for a 1-0 win in 10 innings.

JP Sears’ evening almost got off to a disastrous start as Matt Vierling lined a single back through the box that nearly got him to lead off the game. Vierling stole second, but Sears retired Spencer Torkelson and Andy Ibanez on pop outs and then struck to Javier Baez on three pitches to end the inning.

Sears again dealt with base runners in the second as Jake Rogers began the inning with a single. After a fly out by Jonathan Schoop, Miguel Cabrera singled to put runners at first and second. Sears came right back though and struck out Eric Haase and then got Zack Short to pop out into foul territory to strand the runners.

Sears retired the side in order in the third, but the A’s offense had zero success against Tigers’ lefty Tarik Skubal, who was making his season debut and his first start since August of last season. Skubal retired the first 11 hitters he faced with six coming via strikeout before hitting Brent Rooker with a pitch with two outs in the fourth inning. Skubal then got Aledmys Diaz to ground to Baez for the third out.

Skubal would give way to Reese Olson to start the fifth. Ryan Noda worked a one-out walk to give Oakland their first base runner, but he was left stranded as Manny Piña flew out and Nick Allen grounded out to end the frame.

Sears retired eight-straight Tigers before Cabrera singled to lead off the fifth. He recovered though and retired the next three hitters in order to send the game to the sixth scoreless. He then needed just eight pitches to retire the side in order in the sixth.

Olson retired the first two hitters in the seventh before Shea Langeliers singled to right center to break up the no-hit bid. However, Noda went down swinging to leave him stranded.

Sears continued to deal in the seventh retiring Rogers and Schoop on ground outs before getting Cabrera to line out to Ruiz in center. Despite Sears’ good run, the A’s were again unable to mount any offense in the eighth going down in order against Olson.

Sears came back out to start the eighth and struck out Haase to start the inning. Short followed with a single to left which would end Sears’ night as Mark Kotsay summoned Lucas Erceg from the bullpen.

Things got interesting from there as Vierling reached on a soft single to right with Short moved all the way over to third on the play. Erceg battled back and struck out Torkelson for the second out, but then walked pinch-hitter Kerry Carpenter to load the bases. With the game on the line, Erceg painted a fastball on the outside corner to strike to Baez to send the game to the ninth scoreless.

It was a heck of an outing for Sears who allowed five hits and struck out four over 7 1/3 innings. He through 90 pitches and didn’t walk a batter.

Once again the A’s weren’t able to produce any offense against Olson as Esteury Ruiz struck out, pinch-hitter Seth Brown flew out and then struck out Rooker looking. Shintaro Fujinami took over for Oakland in the ninth and struck out the side in dominant fashion to send the game to extra innings.

Tyler Wade entered as a pinch runner for Rooker to start the 10th and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jace Peterson. With the go-ahead run at third, Langeliers was unable to get the job done as he struck out swinging against Tigers reliever Tyler Horton. With two outs, Noda came through with a single to left that scored Wade to give the A’s a 1-0 lead.

Jake Marisnick entered as a pinch runner to start at second for Detroit and Trevor May took over on the mound to try and close it out in the 10th for the A’s. May got Haase to tap back to the mound for the first out and then punched out Short looking for the second. Vierling worked a two-out walk to put runners at first and second, but May got Torkelson to fly out to Ruiz in center to end the game.

The A’s get their road trip off on a good note and win for the third time in their last four games. They improve to 24-63 on the season. The series will continue Wednesday with Ken Waldichuk matching up against Eduardo Rodriguez.