- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - Mike Pelfrey is four starts into his first season with the Detroit Tigers - and they still haven’t given him a single run of support.

Rich Hill allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tigers 5-1 on Tuesday night. Detroit scored its only run in the ninth, well after Pelfrey had left the game, so the right-hander’s run support is still stuck at zero in 21 1/3 innings this season.

“It doesn’t matter if we are scoring 20 runs when I pitch or zero,” Pelfrey said. “My job is to get outs and put zeroes on the board, and in four starts this year, I haven’t done that.”

The last American League pitcher to get zero runs of support through his first four starts of the season was Mike Morgan of Toronto back in 1983, according to STATS. The most recent NL examples came in 2012, when it happened to Johan Santana of the New York Mets and Adam Wainwright of St. Louis.

Marcus Semien homered for the A’s, and Hill (3-2) breezed through Detroit’s hitters with little trouble. He struck out eight and wasn’t really in any jams after he escaped the first inning with two on.

“It’s a great lineup,” Hill said. “We kept the ball down in the zone. We got ahead - I think that was a big thing, just getting ahead and staying ahead.”

Pelfrey (0-4) allowed five runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings and remains winless since signing with Detroit this past offseason. He allowed three runs in the fourth inning and then gave up Semien’s two-run shot with two out in the seventh.

Justin Upton made a terrific catch in left field in the third, reaching above the wall on a drive by Oakland’s Chris Coghlan. The ball actually popped out of Upton’s glove, but he was able to gather it in before it hit the ground.

Oakland opened the scoring in the fourth on an RBI single by Jed Lowrie. Shortstop Jose Iglesias was unable to come up with Lowrie’s sharp grounder after ranging well to his right. Coco Crisp added a sacrifice fly, and Khris Davis made it 3-0 with an RBI single.

Pelfrey nearly made it through the seventh, but after retiring the first two batters, he allowed Yonder Alonso’s single and Semien’s fifth homer of the season. He allowed one more hit after that before being pulled.

Hill allowed singles to Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez in the first, but he also struck out three in the inning. The Tigers didn’t score until Martinez’s RBI double with two out in the ninth. Billy Burns got a glove on his deep drive but couldn’t hold on in front of the wall in center.

It was a punchless performance against a left-handed pitcher for a Detroit lineup full of righty sluggers. Martinez dismissed the idea that there should be anything easy about facing a lefty for the Tigers.

“This is the big leagues, and you aren’t supposed to beat anyone. If it was so easy that we could do that, everyone would be playing and making money,” Martinez said.

COMPLAINT

Miguel Cabrera struck out looking in the sixth when he looked unprepared to swing on the final pitch. He argued with plate umpire Mark Wegner, to no avail. Manager Brad Ausmus said the Tigers thought Cabrera had called time.

TORRID STRETCH

Josh Reddick had three hits for Oakland, his fourth straight multi-hit game. His average has gone from .218 to .292 in that stretch.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: RHP Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder) pitched two innings Monday for Triple-A Nashville on a rehab assignment.

Tigers: RHP Shane Greene (blister) is unlikely to make his next start, Ausmus said. … Detroit reinstated LHP Daniel Norris (back) from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers also recalled RHP Buck Farmer from Toledo.

UP NEXT

Athletics: Sonny Gray (3-1) takes the mound at Detroit on Wednesday night. Gray is 10-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 14 career starts in April.

Tigers: Justin Verlander (1-2) tries to build on a solid outing in his last start, when he struck out 10 in seven innings against Cleveland on Friday.

___

Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide