JP Sears shines in Athletics debut during extra-innings loss to Angels

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Sears throws well, but A's swept by Angels in three-game set originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Getting traded from one coast to another didn't affect JP Sears' performance in the slightest.

Sears, in speaking with reporters after the Athletic's 5-4 extra-innings loss to the Los Angeles Angels, said that he was "super excited" and "thrilled" to be with Oakland. Regarding his outing, Sears noted that he was trying to fill up the strike zone and give the A's the best chance to win.

"That was my attitude going into today," he said. Sears added that his game plan was to pound the strike zone early to generate soft contact.

"I just went into the outing trying to attack the strike zone like any other game and I think it paid off," Sears concluded.

Sears tossed 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits, two earned runs, and struck out three. He threw 72 pitches and didn't surrender a walk,

Coming over from the New York Yankees along with three other prospects in exchange for Frankie Montas, Sears said he was "surprised" but nonetheless was ready to work.

Despite it being his first outing in a new ballpark, A's manager Mark Kotsay liked what he saw from Sears in his debut at the Oakland Coliseum.

"I thought JP, for his first outing as an A, did an outstanding job today," Kotsay said to reporters postgame. Kotsay noted that Sears attacked the zone with his fastball, which led to numerous foul-tip-outs.

"Overall, I thought he did a great job," Kotsay said of Sears' day.

On the offensive end, the Angels got on the board first with Luis Rengifo's three-run home run in the top of the sixth that gave Los Angeles a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Tony Kemp tied the game with a three-run double but was thrown out trying to extend it into a triple.

The game would remain tied until the 10th inning when Angels outfielder Magneuris Sierra doubled, scoring Steven Duggar to make it a 4-3 game. Ramón Laureano tied it up in the bottom of the frame after driving in Skye Bolt.

Eventually, it would be another Sierra double at the top of the 12th inning to make it 5-4, sealing the game for the Angels. With a runner on third and two outs, rookie Cal Stevenson hit a one-hooper to shortstop Andrew Velasquez who calmly threw it to Jared Walsh at first to end the game.

Jaime Barria was awarded the win while Sears was saddled with the no decision. The A's were swept in the three-game series and extended their losing streak to five straight.

Although he grounded out to end the game, Kotsay believes Stevenson had a "good day" at the plate, recording his first MLB hit while stringing together good at-bats.

"I think overall, just the assessment from watching him today, he's got control of the strike zone," Kotsay concluded.

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After coming out of the All-Star break red-hot, the A's have gone ice-cold. However, Oakland is hoping that the week-long trip to Texas will change their luck when they face off against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.