'Tremendous' JP Sears continues to show he's part of Athletics' future

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'Tremendous' Sears continues to show he's part of A's future originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

JP Sears continued his run of quality starts for the Athletics.

After his last start -- a loss to the New York Yankees -- the 26-year-old Sears bounced back and kept the Baltimore Orioles hitters guessing in the A's 5-2 loss Friday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"Felt good about the performance," Sears said postgame. "[Sean] Murphy called a great game back there, had some great help from the defense ... good job from the defense tonight, just not enough to win."

To his credit, Sears did what he could to keep the A's in the game. After allowing two runs to score in the bottom of the third, Sears essentially shut down Baltimore's offense.

"JP did a tremendous job tonight handling that lineup," A's manager Mark Kotsay said to reporters postgame. "He used his changeup really effectively, getting through six innings, only gave up two runs there, tremendous job."

In all, Sears went six innings, gave up six hits, two earned runs, walked one, and struck out five Orioles, throwing 81 total pitches. He was given a no-decision for his efforts.

"Our goal as starters is to get the team deep into the game, have quality starts every time I go out there, that's on my mind. That's my intention so I'll try and continue to build off that.," Sears concluded.

Offensively, aside from a Tony Kemp single off Orioles' starter Dean Kremer in the fifth inning that scored Dermis Garcia and Vimael Machine, the A's bats were quiet.

"It was a big moment there in the game with two outs and those type of two-out hits keep you in games or win games," Kotsay said of Kemp's single. "Got us back in that game, gave us a shot.

"Unfortunately, we just weren't able to capture it."

For Baltimore, the Orioles took advantage of Oakland's mistakes in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three runs, all charged to Domingo Acevedo, to make it 5-2 Baltimore.

Kotsay believes these mistakes are crucial in helping a young A's team develop.

"Part of our job as a coaching staff is to get in there and continue to teach, continue to make them aware of the mistakes, and just keep working on it," he said. "They're growing pains and this one was a big one."

All told, Baltimore plated five runs on nine hits. Kremer also went six innings, giving up five hits, two earned runs, one walk, and struck out six Oakland hitters.

Despite a tough loss, Sears showed that he can be a valuable contributor for the A's moving forward. Since coming over to Oakland as part of the Frankie Montas trade, Sears is 2-1 (in five games) with a 2.37 ERA.

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The A's look to even the series on Saturday at 4:05 PM PT. Adam Oller will be taking the mound for Oakland while Austin Voth will be on the bump for the Orioles.