Athletics' Ken Waldichuk did 'nice job' in MLB debut, Mark Kotsay says

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Kotsay praises Waldichuk for encouraging debut vs. Nationals originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Athletics' Ken Waldichuk couldn't have asked for a better way to start his major league career.

Facing off against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Thursday, Waldichuk maneuvered through tough moments early on in the game to give the A's a chance to win.

"It was pretty cool," Waldichuk said of his first MLB start. "It was a little rocky -- there was a lot of traffic -- but yeah, it was a pretty cool experience to have."

After giving up a run in the first inning, Waldichuk was able to settle down and keep the Nationals hitters off guard in the A's 7-5 loss at Nationals Park in extra innings.

"After that first, I think everything, even with the traffic, I felt a little more settled in," he added. "I think the nerves in the first that were something I had to work around as well."

In his 4 2/3 innings of work, Waldichuk struck out six, gave up five hits, walked four, and gave up only one run. A's manager Mark Kotsay was impressed with Waldichuk's outing, despite the result.

"I think overall, for Ken today, he did a nice job for his first outing," Kotsay said. "Got himself out of a couple jams early, made his pitches when he had to ... Going forward, I think it's a learning curve for him and we'll build off this one."

With an impressive outing in the books, Kotsay says Waldichuk will get another opportunity to start another game.

Offensively, Shea Langeliers was the engine for the A's.

In the top of the fifth, Langeliers hit his third home run of the season off Paolo Espino to tie the game at one apiece.

From there, the A's and Nationals swapped leads for the next few innings, eventually heading to extras tied 3-3.

Then, in the top of the 10th inning, Langeliers smoked a double to center field to score Sheldon Neuse and Vimael Machin, giving the A's a 5-3 lead.

"Good at-bats. He's learning this league, they're learning him, they're making adjustments," Kotsay said of Langeliers' night. "It was good to see him make that adjustment ... and take a ball the other way off the way."

In all, Langeliers went 2-for-5 with three RBI on the night.

That said, even with all that Langeliers did offensively, Oakland's lead would be shortlived.

Facing off against Norge Ruiz, Washington's Joey Meneses capped off his big night by driving a slider to right center field for a walk-off, three-run home run. In all, Meneses went 4-for-6 and knocked in four RBI.

It was Washington's first walk-off win of the season.

Although it was not the ending the A's were expecting, Waldichuk said he was going to make the most of his opportunities moving forward.

"I'm just trying to take it day-to-day right now, just make it start-to-start and just try to learn from facing all these lineups," Waldichuk concluded.

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After dropping the series to the Nationals, the A's will look to rebound on Friday afternoon at 4:05 PT PM against Dean Kremer and the Baltimore Orioles.