Sears fuels A's second series victory with no-hit bid vs. Rangers

Sears fuels A's second series victory with no-hit bid vs. Rangers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

JP Sears had just about everything working for him in the Athletics' 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday at Globe Life Field.

Sears (W, 6 1/3 IP, H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before Rangers right fielder Adolis García ended his shot at history with a single to left field with one out. The 28-year-old immediately was pulled, capping off his best start of the season.

In speaking to reporters after the game, A's manager Mark Kotsay shared his admiration for the way Sears pitched on Thursday and how far the youngster has come since last season.

"That start was great," Kotsay said. "This kid from last season making all 32 starts you can really just see the composure today when he had a leadoff walk. He got back in the zone, he got the groundball, the double play. that's the maturation we're looking for from these type of young starters and he showed that today for sure."

Sears' catcher, Kyle McCann, was blown away by the young southpaw's performance.

"Oh my gosh, it was amazing," McCann told NBC Sports California's Carlos Ramirez and Bip Roberts on "A's Postgame Live" shortly after the win that pushed Oakland's record to 5-8. "He had his fastball, all pitches and he was able to mix well and he was locating perfectly. When you do that, good things are going to happen."

Some pitchers have superstitious tendencies while throwing a no-hitter, and most prefer not to think about or acknowledge the feat whatsoever to maintain their focus.

Sears, however, couldn't ignore what he had going against the Rangers (7-6) on Thursday.

"Probably like the fourth or fifth inning," Sears said postgame about when he knew he had a no-hitter going. "It's definitely something that's hard to ignore, but pitch by pitch you don't think about it when you're out there. Just trying to get guys out and that's my job. It was one of those days where execution was a big factor."

Sears finished the day with 88 pitches, and while Kotsay would have let him continue chasing his no-hit bid further, the A's skipper didn't hesitate to pull Sears as soon as it was over.

"At that point in the sixth at 80 pitches you kind of get a pretty good idea if this was going to happen it was probably going to be 100-plus (pitches), and to do that early in the year it would put a lot of stress on him, but at the same point you know the momentum of the game and the starter being dominant, I was just waiting for that first hit," Kotsay explained postgame.

A's left fielder Seth Brown knocked in the only run of the game with a solo home run in the second inning.

The one-run victory was the A's fourth in five games and capped off a second consecutive series victory after Oakland won two of three games against the Tigers in Detroit.

Sears, along with staff ace Paul Blackburn, is providing the A's with stability atop the starting rotation. And it's resulting in wins.