Zack Gelof

Gelof's career day powers A's over Tigers for road series win

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Zack Gelof’s career day and a lockdown performance from starting pitcher Joe Boyle (W, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) led the way in the Athletics' 7-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday at Comerica Park.

Gelof started hot, ripping an RBI triple in the first and blasting a three-run home run in the second before collecting two singles in the seventh and ninth innings. He finished the day a double shy of the cycle, coming very close to hitting one in his final at-bat.

He finished the day 4 for 5 with four RBI.

After drawing three walks in the A's 4-0 win over the Tigers on Saturday, Gelof seemingly has righted the ship after struggling to begin the season.

Manager Mark Kotsay was pleased with Gelof’s performance after his initial struggles to start the season.

“It was a great result today, all of his at-bats, he’s working in the right direction,” Kotsay said postgame. “Big day for him, table-setter as well as RBIs, it was good to see.”

Gelof explained to reporters after the game what the biggest difference is in his solid play over the past two games against the Tigers.

“It’s just swinging at the right pitches and not making the situation bigger than it is was big for me,” Gelof said.

Boyle delivered another strong performance for Oakland, throwing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts and two hits.

“When he got done, I talked to him about in that situation, five innings, 86 pitches, he made the pitch when he had to all day,” Kotsay said.

“And that shows obviously that competitiveness in him but also, we’ve got to do a better job just getting ahead of hitters and getting into the strike zone early in the count. But overall, he just grinded and grinded and got through five and gave us a chance to win.”

The A’s pitching staff had another good all-around outing, with the only run of the day for the Tigers coming from Riley Greene via a solo homer in the eighth, a ball that outfielder Lawrence Butler almost caught just over the center field fence.

After struggling to produce runs and hold opposing batters in check, Oakland shut down Detroit in the final two games of the series to win back-to-back games for the first time all season.

The Tigers came into the series as one of the hottest teams in baseball, so taking two of three gives the A’s plenty of positive feelings and momentum at this early point in the season, something that was not lost on Kotsay.

“This team was playing good baseball when we came in here…It was a good sign this team was able to come in here on the road and take two of three from them,” Kotsay told reporters.

With their first series victory and first win streak of the season, the A’s now will face the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

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