Athletics' Mark Kotsay credits 'vintage' Lance McCullers in loss to Astros

McCullers' "vintage" performance calms A's Bats in Loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Athletics went on a seven-game losing streak after Saturday's 8-0 loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Oakland's at-bats had a chance to jump on Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr., who made his 2022 season debut after being left off the 60-day injured list. The 28-year-old had not served since October 12 after contracting a flexor tendon in his forearm.
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However, McCullers Jr. hit like he hadn't missed any action in almost a year and showed no signs of rust. McCullers went six innings on his return to the mound and allowed the A-line to record just two hits.
"Vintage McCullers," manager Mark Kotsay told reporters after the game. "I remember him before he got injured. What he did to us, his breaking ball is one of the best in the game.
"We saw that tonight with a couple of lefties he hit with it and it has enough life on the fastball to keep you honest. For his first start back he threw the ball really well."
Meanwhile, the A's had Zach Logue on the mound going 5 1/3 innings for Oakland. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old, it was a tough night after being called up by Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.
Logue gave up six earned runs on eight hits in the loss and admitted why the Astros were able to get him.
"My fastball command could probably have been a little bit better tonight," Logue told reporters.
"I thought it got better as the game went on but I missed a few points early on and then I was able to do a little bit better as the game went on. But yeah, that's probably the biggest thing for me. "
Despite the stunning result, the rest of the season is there for players like Logue to learn on the job and also for the A's front office to see if the starting pitcher can become a building block for the team next season.
As a result, games like Saturday's loss in Houston are just trial and error for the 26-year-old to see what he needs to improve on next season.
"They really wanted me to work on my change," added Logue. "I feel like it has good action and if I keep my arms fast I think it's going to sell pretty well, especially since I'm a guy who throws quite a lot of fastballs. So that was the emphasis.”
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Oakland will try to save a game in Houston on Sunday, sending Cole Irvin and his 2.92 ERA to the mound. Meanwhile, the Astros counterattack with Cristian Javier, who has a 3.14 ERA, to complete the sweep.
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