DETROIT (AP) — Now that he’s healthy, Daniel Mengden is showing his potential.
The Oakland right-hander pitched seven scoreless innings, and Marcus Semien homered and drove in three runs, leading the Athletics to a 3-2 win and three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
Mengden (2-1) allowed seven hits and struck out four, extending his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings and helping the A’s to their fourth consecutive win. The 24-year-old missed the first two months of the season after undergoing offseason foot surgery and was making his fifth major league start this year.
“The arm’s felt great,” Mengden said. “I’m just trying to solidify myself a little more. Feels great to have this under my belt.”
Liam Hendriks got the final two outs in the ninth, after the Tigers got within 3-2, to earn his first save.
“We’ve got some youngsters hungry to make a name for themselves,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s a different feeling now. We need to go into the offseason having a positive road trip, and they responded very well.”
Anibal Sanchez (3-5) pitched well in a losing effort, allowing three hits and one run in six innings. He struck out eight and walked three. Over his last two starts, he’s allowed two earned runs in 12 innings with 19 strikeouts.
“Finally, I got two good outings in a row,” Sanchez said. “I want to continue working and finish strong. I’m going to take the good stuff from this outing.”
Semien’s double in the third inning brought home Bruce Maxwell, who led off with a double. His two-run homer in the seventh off reliever Daniel Stumpf put the A’s ahead 3-0.
“Overall, the pitching was good,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Sanchie was outstanding again. The homer off Stumpf hurt, but the pitching was good. We just didn’t muster enough runs.”
Mengden worked out of a few jams. He got Nick Castellanos to fly out to deep right center with two out and runners on the corners in the third.
In the fifth, after allowing two-out singles to Alex Presley and Jeimer Candelario, Mengden induced another deep flyout from Miguel Cabrera.
Castellanos led off the sixth with a single and advanced on a wild pitch. Mengden got a strikeout and two popouts to leave him stranded.
“He’s doing great,” Melvin said of his starter. “He’s had some injuries, some rocky roads on the way back, but really seems to have found himself now.”
The Tigers threatened in the ninth off Ryan Dull, who allowed a one-out, two-run single to Andrew Romine. Hendriks relieved Dull and got Jose Iglesias to ground into a fielder’s choice before striking out Presley.
Athletics: C Maxwell left in the ninth after taking a foul ball to the mask from Iglesias. Maxwell stayed down for a few minutes and was replaced by Josh Phegley.
“Right now, it doesn’t look like a concussion,” Melvin said. “We’ll probably know better in the next couple days. More sore on his face, because of where the impact was.”
Oakland 1B Matt Olson went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk. He had homered in five straight games entering Wednesday, setting an A’s rookie record.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.39 ERA) faces Texas on Friday. The Rangers have not announced their starter.
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