- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - The Oakland Athletics desperately wanted to give Brad Mills some run support.

Against Rick Porcello, they simply couldn’t find a way to do it.

The A’s were helpless against Porcello, who pitched a four-hit shutout to win 3-0 on Tuesday night. The A’s got three singles and a double, and only got one runner to third base.

“Our guys were swinging at strikes, but everything was moving,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s got a good sinker and a good changeup, and now he’s mixing in a good breaking ball to keep you off balance.


“That’s just a very well-pitched game by him.”

Mills (1-1) took the loss for Oakland, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks in six-plus innings.

“We just couldn’t do anything to help him,” Melvin said.

Porcello (11-4) wasn’t overpowering, but he just kept throwing strikes. Porcello became the fourth pitcher in franchise history to throw a shutout without walking or striking out a batter, and the first since Dizzy Trout in 1944. He also was the first in the majors to accomplish the feat since Baltimore’s Jeff Ballard in 1989 - when Porcello was eight months old.

“We’re usually a patient team, but he was getting first-pitch strikes on everyone,” Oakland’s Brandon Moss said. “There’s a point in the game where you figure you can’t just keep falling behind, but we just kept hitting weak grounders. It was frustrating.”

It has been that kind of week for Oakland. Porcello’s performance came one night after Rajai Davis hit Detroit’s first game-ending grand slam in 10 years.

Still, Porcello was slightly disappointed by his 95-pitch outing, even after learning how rare it was.

“In the last couple innings, I was hoping I’d get at least one strikeout,” he said. “I didn’t want to go out there and put up a zero. Still, with a game like this, I’m certainly not going to trade it in for anything.”

Porcello’s night might have been noteworthy, but it certainly didn’t come out of the blue. He pitched his first career shutout in his previous start, beating the Rangers on June 26, and pitched six shutout innings against Cleveland on June 20.

“I don’t want to jinx it,” he joked when asked about his shutout streak. “All I know is that I’m throwing the ball really well right now, I’m making consistent pitches when I need them, and my defense is helping me out.

“I’m also getting some good breaks, which every pitcher needs.”

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