OAKLAND — The A's have desperately been waiting for a starting pitcher -- any starting pitcher -- to give them a strong outing. On Sunday, Edwin Jackson came through.
The 34-year-old right-hander tossed six masterful innings, allowing just one run on three hits en route to his fifth win of the season.
“This is a big win for us,” Jackson said. “I would say this is probably one of the biggest wins that we've had all season. This was definitely a must-win game. ... It was imperative for me to go out and pitch deep in the game.”
“It was huge,” added Stephen Piscotty, who belted a pair of home runs in the victory. “We've been taxing our bullpen a lot. To have him go out and have a strong outing, and let our offense kind of wake up and take the pressure off of him, I thought that was just a great game, and exactly what we needed.”
Jackson recorded Oakland's first quality start (six or more innings allowing three runs or fewer) since August 21. It was also the first time he made it through six innings since August 11.
“It was huge in preserving the faith in [Bob] Melvin having trust in me going out and being able to finish an inning,” Jackson said. “Last game in Houston, he told me that he had faith in me to go out and finish the inning and get [Alex] Bregman out, and I wasn't able to do so. That was definitely in the back of my mind today, to go out and finish the inning strong, have a clean inning and get the job done to preserve that faith.”
“He's a veteran guy,” Melvin noted. “He's been there before. ... A lot of times veteran guys can take a step back and relax, take a deep breath, and just worry about one particular pitch. I think that's what he does.”
Overall, Jackson has been phenomenal since joining the A's in June. In 13 starts, he has gone 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
“He's been so consistent for us since the time he got here,” Melvin praised. “He competes hard. The guys feel it behind him. There are certain guys on game day that act a certain way, or you don't want to talk to them. He's the same guy every day. But when he takes the mound, it's all about competing.”
“It's all mental,” Jackson said. “It's just the mental approach. Every game, you've got to know you can get the job done. It doesn't necessarily work out like that all the time, but you have to keep that approach. You have to keep that mindset that you know you can go out and get the job done.”