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Joe Boyle impressive as Athletics beat Tigers 4-1

Joe Boyle turned in a fine performance and the Oakland bullpen took care of the rest.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Boyle turned in another solid start and the bullpen held on at the end in a 4-1 win for the Oakland Athletics over the Detroit Tigers.

Boyle made his second career start and pitched well again. He allowed a two-out single to Spencer Torkelson in the first, but got Kerry Carpenter to fly out to end the inning. He allowed a double to Parker Meadows in the second, but struck out two in a scoreless second.

Boyle began the third with a strikeout of Akil Baddoo. His defense would let him down though as Zach McKinstry sent a fly ball to left that Esteury Ruiz misplayed into a double. Undeterred, Boyle came right back and struck out Matt Vierling for the second out. Torkleson then sent a sharp grounder to third that Jordan Diaz couldn’t handle, McKinstry kept right on running and scored to put the Tigers in front 1-0.

The A’s got their first hit with one out in the second inning when Nick Allen blooped in a single to center. Ruiz then made up for the misplay the inning before when he connected on a two-run homer to left to give the A’s the lead.

Staked to a lead, Boyle went back to work in the fourth and retired Andy Ibanez and Andre Lipcius on fly outs before walking Meadows. Meadows stole second, but Boyle got Carson Kelly to fly out to left to leave him stranded.

Boyle retired Baddoo again to start the fifth, but then allowed a sharp single to McKinstry. With a 1-1 count to Vierling, Boyle picked McKinstry off first for the second out and then struck out Vierling on a fastball at the top of the zone to end the inning. He returned for the sixth and allowed a one-out single to Carpenter, but retired Ibanez and Lipcius to keep it 2-1.

Lucas Erceg replaced Boyle to start the seventh. It was an excellent outing for Boyle who struggled with his command early, but settled in as the game went on. He allowed five hits and an unearned run over six innings. He struck out five and walked just one while throwing 94 pitches.

Erceg struck out the side in the seventh. Dany Jimenez entered in the eighth and things went sideways. He walked Vierling to start the inning, but came right back and struck out Torkelson and Carpenter. Jimenez then issued another walk to Ibanez to put runners at first and second. A wild pitch moved them to second and third and yet another walk to Lipcius loaded the bases. Mark Kotsay then summoned Trevor May who struck out Meadows swinging to strand the runners.

Detroit lefty Joey Wentz retired 14 of 15 A’s hitters before he was replaced by Jason Foley in the eighth and Oakland’s offense got back to work. Foley retired Kevin Smith to start the inning but then walked Allen. Ruiz then reached on an infield single to put runners at first and second. Ryan Noda then provided some insurance with a double off the wall in right center that scored Allen to make it 3-1.

Zack Gelof followed with a single to right that brought home Ruiz to push the lead to 4-1.

Things got interesting again in the ninth. May walked Kelly to start the inning. Baddoo then sent a grounder to Gelof who was slow getting the ball out of his glove. He threw to second to get Kelly, but Baddoo reached first safely. McKinstry then reached on a throwing error by Allen to put runners at first and second. May then allowed a single to Vierling to load the bases.

With the tying run at first base, May struck out Torkelson on a fastball up for the second out and then K’d Carpenter on three pitches to end the game.

The A’s have now won two-straight and are 48-107 for the season. They will go for a series win on Sunday with JP Sears scheduled to match up against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.