James Kaprielian probably didn’t expect to have to wait until July for his first win of the 2022 MLB season.
But it’s better late than never.
Kaprielian finally got in the win column on Friday as the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 3-1 at T-Mobile Park, pitching six innings for the first time this season.
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“Starting to find some cues and what I need to do to continue to be consistent on the mound,” Kaprielian said to reporters after the game. “I think it’s showing. I’m going to continue to work on it. That’s the process of a baseball season. You continue to evolve and continue to work on your craft.”
Kaprielian got out of a jam in the sixth inning. With the A’s ahead 2-1 and runners on first and second with two outs, he struck out Abraham Toro to end the inning.
It was his 84th and final pitch of the night, a changeup that Toro whiffed at.
Manager Mark Kotsay told reporters that he trusted Kaprielian enough to keep him in the game against the righty Toro.
“Kap had thrown the ball great up to that point,” Kotsay said. “I felt good about giving him a chance to get through that inning and get that out there.”
Kotsay added that Kaprielian used both his slider and changeup well, with life on his fastball.
“What a great performance from him,” Kotsay said. “Really encouraging to see Kap just from the body language and intensity. From pitch one, he looked like the Kap of old.”
Kaprielian entered the game with an 0-5 record and a 5.88 ERA in 11 starts. He had yet to find the success of last season, when he went 8-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 21 starts and established himself in the A’s rotation.
Though Kaprielian said that getting off to a slow start and missing spring training due to injury put him behind this year, he feels like he’s beginning to find his groove.
“I feel like my mechanics are starting to get to the point where I’m familiar with where my body is and where my arm is,” Kaprielian said. “Just continue to step in the right direction.”