Adrian Martinez's 'great start' helps Athletics split Yankees series

Martinez's 'great start' helps A's split series with Yankees originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Life comes at you fast, as Adrián Martínez can attest to.

After being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas hours before his start against the AL East-leading New York Yankees, Martínez perhaps had his most impressive start as an Athletic at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday.

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It was also important considering Oakland was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 2002 A's team that won 20 straight games.

"It went well. I was making sure to attack the zone as well as making sure that the ball was going toward the right location," Martínez said, via an interpreter, of his outing. "My fastball was really good -- it was going towards the direction I wanted it to go."

Martínez used his fastball to effectively set up his secondary pitches and looked strong in the 4-1 win over the Yankees. He gave up three hits, walked two, and allowed one earned run while also striking out six Yankees batters.

"The changeup is one of my best pitches, I continue to work on it," he said. "Make sure that I had a low sequence moving forward as well as just continuing to work on it and my aggression.


"I was very happy today."

Martínez was awarded his third win of the season and A's manager Mark Kotsay liked what he saw from the 25-year-old righty against one of the league's most potent offenses.

"Changeup was dominant today, he got a lot of swing and miss on the changeup," Kotsay said. "Threw strikes with his fastball so it's a great start. Good building."

Offensively, the A's did most of their damage early against Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt, scoring two in the first and third innings, respectively.

After Seth Brown hit a single, Stephen Vogt continued to mash against the Yankees, pounding a double to score Brown.

Dermis Garcia then singled to score Vogt but was thrown out trying to stretch his single to a double to make it 2-0.


In the third, Nick Allen hit a double, and he came around to score on a Tony Kemp single. Kemp eventually was brought home by Dermis Garcia to make it 4-0, a lead Oakland would not relinquish.

For the Yankees, Schmidt went 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits, four earned runs, and one walk. Schmidt also struck out seven A's, with New York's bullpen striking out four more.

The Yankees feature one of baseball's most feared, high-powered offenses, but they could only muster one run on Kyle Higashioka's base hit in the fifth inning. However, Kemp put an end to the threat three pitches later with an impressive grab at the wall.

Aside from Giancarlo Stanton reaching third base in the top of the sixth, the Yankees offense was effectively held in check by Martínez and the rest of the A's pitchers.


From there, Domingo Acevedo and A.J. Puk struck out three of the last six Yankees to close the door on any comeback. Puk threw a 98-mph fastball at the top of the zone to strike out Oswaldo Cabrera and end the ballgame.

All told, Kotsay was particularly pleased with Puk after his previous outing.

"I think anytime a player goes out and has a rough one, it's important to get them right back out in that same situation," Kotsay said. "He answered the call today. ... He battled back. That last at-bat really showing conviction to the fastball and throwing it right by guys."

It is only fitting that the A's were able to salvage a series split with members of the 2002 team in the Coliseum and in all, the A's went 5-5 in their 10-game homestand.

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After an impressive recovery to nab a series split against one of the best teams in the AL, the A's will have a day off Monday before facing the Washington Nationals on Tuesday at 4:05 p.m. PT.

Cole Irvin is set to take the mound for the A's while Erick Fedde is projected to start for the Nationals.