Barry Zito insisted that his poor first half wouldn’t affect him after the All-Star break. Thus far, he’s living up to his word.
Zito, who went 4-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 18 starts prior to the break, was at his best on Friday against the Chicago White Sox. He allowed one run and four hits over seven strong innings, striking out three and walking one, to lift the A’s to a 5-1 victory.
“You’ve got to put the past behind you, but I learned a lot of lessons in the first half,” Zito said. “My last five starts have felt really good out there, actually—pretty good pace, pretty good rhythm. Sometimes the outcomes make people think different, but the process still feels good.”
Zito has yielded two earned runs or fewer in all but one of his last five outings.
The A’s got 8 2-3 two-hit innings from Rich Harden and 5 1-3 innings of one-hit ball from their bullpen in Tuesday’s 1-0, 14-inning victory over Toronto.
Damian Miller broke up Toronto starter Dave Bush’s bid for a no-hitter in the eighth inning and drove home the winning run with a bases-loaded single as Oakland earned a split of the two-game set and improved to 4-2 since the break.
Ichiro Suzuki set a career high and tied the team record with four stolen bases Tuesday, but the Mariners suffered a 9-7 loss to Boston. Willie Bloomquist and Edgar Martinez each had two RBIs for Seattle, which had a season-high 18 hits but tied a club record with 16 left on base.