Frankie Montas might just be the ace the Oakland Athletics have been searching for all season.
Montas came within one out of his first career complete game as the Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 on Friday night at Comerica Park.
Montas improved to 5-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.67, good for eighth best in AL. The 26-year-old set career-highs with 8.2 innings pitched and 10 strikeouts. Montas allowed two runs on four hits and walked none.
Mark Canha and Chad Pinder supported Montas with two-run homers. Khris Davis went 3-of-4 with an RBI.
According to Baseball Savant, Montas threw 73 of 109 pitches (67.0%) for strikes and generated 18 swinging strikes (16.5 percent). He induced 13 groundouts to just two flyouts.
Montas threw 41 sinkers, 26 sliders, 25 four-seamers and 17 splitters. He deployed a splitter for four strikeouts, sinker for three strikeouts, four-seamer for two strikeouts and a slider for one strikeout.
Daniel Norris suffered his second loss. He allowed six runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out two.
Oakland started the scoring with a run in the fourth inning. Matt Chapman and Stephen Piscotty opened with back-to-back singles. Chapman advanced to third on a fly ball by Davis and scored when Matt Olson beat out a double play grounder to first by millimeters.
The A’s scored two runs in the fifth. Jurickson Profar led off by working an eight-pitch walk. Canha followed with his fifth homer of the season. Norris left a 1-0 fastball over the heart of the plate and Canha crushed it into the right field bleachers.
The Tigers pulled a run back in the bottom half. After retiring the first 12 batters, Montas allowed a leadoff double to Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera came around to score on a one-out double by Josh Harrison.
Montas hit Dawel Lugo with a 1-2 pitch to put the tying run on base. But Montas escaped further damage when John Hicks and JaCoby Jones grounded into force outs at second base on back-to-back pitches.
Oakland answered with three runs in the sixth.
Davis singled with one out. Olson followed with another single, but the ball was misplayed by Jones in center and rolled to the warning track. Davis scored and Olson reached third.
Olson scored on Pinder’s fourth homer of the season. Hicks wanted a slider in on the 3-2 pitch, but Norris left it over the heart of the plate.
Davis hit an RBI single off Sandy Baez in the eighth.
After retiring the side in order from the sixth to the eighth innings, the only drama left was if Montas can finish what he started.
Montas allowed a leadoff single to Gordon Beckham. After getting two outs, the last man standing between Montas and the complete game was Cabrera.
Cabrera would not cooperate as he lined a gapper into right-center for an RBI double. The hit was number 2,721 for Cabrera, moving him into a tie for 63rd all time with Lou Gehrig.
Montas departed after a spectacular performance. Lou Trivino came on to strike out Ronny Rodriguez to end the game.
WP: Frankie Montas (5-2, 2.67) LP: Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.50)
Time: 2:28 Attendance: 18,746 Record: 21-25