James Kaprielian tosses gem vs. Angles despite last-minute start

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Kaprielian deals in win vs. Angels despite last-minute start originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

James Kaprielian’s competitive edge introduces itself before he does. 

In six innings Saturday night, Kaprielian struck out five while giving up only two hits in the A's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.

Kaprielian, always tough on himself, was stern and stoic while fielding questions from reporters after the game. He wasn't angry by any means and was happy to get the win at Angel Stadium. 

The A’s originally scheduled starter was Daulton Jefferies, and Kaprielian had every thought in his mind he would be coming out of the bullpen Saturday. However, the team announced earlier on Saturday that Jefferies was placed on the Injured List with nerve irritation in his right elbow.

Kaprielian didn’t want to go into detail about what happened when he heard of the last-minute switch. 

“To be honest, I don’t really want to talk about it too much,” Kapriliean said after the game. “You know that they make these decisions and it’s my job to do what they asked me and that’s what I’m going to do. The ball got back in my hand today and I want to do my job and help this team win and fortunately, I was able to do that tonight.”

Kaprielian’s original trip to the bullpen was due to struggles during his recent starts. His ERA sat at 4.02 not long after he was being talked about for AL Rookie of the Year honors.

But his approach was the same as it always was, with one issue he had.

“Yesterday, I probably threw more than I wanted to because I didn’t know until after I played catch,” Kaprielian said. “You know, at the end of the day, whatever BoMel asked me to do, whether it’s start, relief, pitch on short rest, longer rest, I’m going to do it.”

The game ended in celebratory fashion thanks to an insane catch by A’s infielder Josh Harrison, who snow-coned the final out of the night.

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A’s manager Bob Melvin had been ejected earlier after arguing a call by the replay umpires, so he was in the clubhouse along with Kaprielian and relievers Deolis Guerra and Yusmeiro Petit.

“I was inside with Yus, Guerra and BoMel and I was very happy to see J-Hay catch that ball,” Kaprielian said as he smiled for what felt like the first time during his press conference.