Home World Luis Medina has dazzling season debut in Oakland’s 3-1 loss to Braves

Luis Medina has dazzling season debut in Oakland’s 3-1 loss to Braves


By Bill Trocchi
The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Right-hander Luis Medina was stellar for the A’s in his first start of the season, but it went for naught Sunday as Oakland’s offense generated just two hits during a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Former A’s catcher Sean Murphy drove in the go-ahead run for the Braves with a bloop double in the seventh inning. Murphy’s double down the right-field line knocked in Adam Duval for what proved to be the winning run and allowed the Braves to take the series 2-1.

Atlanta’s Charlie Morton allowed one hit in six scoreless innings, but he ended up with a no-decision when the A’s tied the game in the top of the seventh inning on a home-run by Zack Gelof.

Despite the loss, A’s manager Mark Kotsay came away encouraged by what he saw of Medina, who lasted 5 2/3 innings and surrendered two hits – including an Austin Riley bloop double that hit the chalk on the right field line — and just one unearned run. He had six strikeouts and two walks.

“It was a great outing for Medina,” Kotsay said. “Really going out for the first time, and to be able to command his pitches, he looked great out there. He looked comfortable. We thought he would go four innings or so, but for him to get into the sixth and execute the game plan, it was really nice to see.”

Medina started the season on the injured list with a sprained right knee. He made three minor league appearances before starting Sunday.

Braves manager Brian Snitker was encouraged afterward, despite his team finishing the homestand 3-4.

“I look at it individually and see some positives offensively with guys, which is what we’ve been trying to do,” said Snitker. “We’ve been playing good baseball. We just haven’t hit, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel for a bunch of guys.”

Morton had his best start of the season, walking five, striking out six and hitting a batter. No A’s batter reached third base during his outing.

“I had really good command of the zone for the most part,” Morton said. “If you are not giving up a ton of hard hit balls, you can afford to try to make pitches. That’s basically what we did today.”

Marcell Ozuna went 1-for-3 with a double and reached base for the 26th consecutive game.

Dylan Lee allowed a long home run to Gelof in the seventh, but Joe Jimenez and Raisel Iglesias each pitched a scoreless inning. Lee (2-1) picked up the win and Iglesias earned his 15th save of the season.

Murphy’s shallow fly ball in the seventh landed just fair between right fielder Seth Brown, first baseman J.D. Davis and second baseman Gelof. Duvall scored from third on the play. Murphy had been 2-for-18 entering that at-bat since returning from the injured list.

Atlanta added an insurance run in the eighth when Ozzie Albies knocked in pinch runner J.P. Martinez with an RBI single.

The Braves were 13-14 in May and split their first two games of June.

“We don’t feel like everything is clicking,” Morton said. “I’ve been on teams where I’ve sensed we were in trouble. I don’t feel like that’s a room that’s going to allow that to happen. The quality of people in there is just too good.”

Gelof crushed his fourth home run of the season off Lee to lead off the seventh inning. It was the first batter Lee faced after replacing Morton.

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