Athletics

Athletics

OAKLAND -- What a difference a continent makes.

Eight days ago, Mike Fiers didn't even make it to the fourth inning as the Mariners worked him for five earned runs in three innings. On Thursday, Fiers pitched six shutout innings, allowing just one hit, as the A's blanked the Angels 4-0 in their home opener.

"I was really keeping them off balance I thought," Fiers said. "There were a couple of hard hit balls right at people and we made some good defensive plays to get me out of some innings. But overall I feel like I did my job."

Added A's manager Bob Melvin: "Mike really set the tone. ... Being able to give us six (innings) like that and put up some zeros was key."

Fiers probably owed some of Thursday's success to the Coliseum. The right-hander allowed a few deep fly balls, which may have been home runs at the Tokyo Dome, but just long outs in Oakland.

"It definitely felt better to be here in Oakland and be home," he said. "It makes it easy with the guys here. It feels like a family here and everyone plays for each other."

[RELATED: How Grossman impressed Melvin in A's win over Angels]

"He did a great job," added Khris Davis, who crushed his second home run of the season in the sixth inning. "He got after it and pounded the zone. That's what we need from him. He's our No. 1 and he pitched like it."

 

This is Fiers' first experience as a No. 1 starter after spending most of his career toward the bottom of rotations. He pitched well last season after coming over from the Tigers at the trade deadline, going 5-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 10 games.

His late-season performance earned Fiers a new two-year, $14.1 million contract with Oakland. Thursday's outing showed why the A's made that decision.

"Phegley and I were on the same page today," Fiers said. "It felt really good. It's all about having the confidence and playing as a team, and that's what we did."