Austin Pruitt Makes Athletics Season Debut, Saves Bullpen in Loss to Rangers

Pruitt makes A's season debut, saves bullpen in loss to Rangers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In need of a fresh arm in the bullpen, the Athletics selected the contract of 32-year-old reliever Austin Pruitt from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers while designating pitcher Justin Grimm for assignment to make room on the roster.

Pruitt, who had made 73 career MLB appearances over four seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins, was pressed into action right away in the A's 11-4 loss to the Rangers at the Oakland Coliseum.

Making his A's debut, Pruitt pitched three scoreless innings to close out the contest after the Rangers did all their damage in the first six innings of the game.

"He did a nice job. Was very efficient," A's acting manager Brad Ausmus told reporters after the game. "Didn't use a lot of pitches and he saved our bullpen. This was a day going into the game we knew we were a little bit short in terms of innings down in the bullpen because we had guys who needed rest. He did an excellent job of saving those guys and allowing those guys to have a day off."

While Pruitt pitched well on Saturday, the same can't be said for starter Zach Logue, who struggled for the second straight outing.

Logue lasted just 2 1/3 innings while allowing seven hits and four earned runs. He walked one Rangers hitter and struck out just one. His ERA jumped from 4.43 to 5.47 during the start.

"I don't think he had a real good feel for the baseball even though he was able to work through the first few innings," Ausmus said. "I think the command kind of came and went. And then eventually it went too far. He battled but just didn't have it. It was a little similar to what we saw last time in Seattle."

Logue gave up seven earned runs in his last start, and now has allowed 11 earned runs over seven innings in his last two outings.

Jacob Lemoine followed Logue and was roughed up as well, giving up five hits and five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. Adam Kolarek came in after Lemoine and allowed four hits and two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. With the game well out of reach, Pruitt was called on and kept the Rangers off the board in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

The A's have lost the first three games of the four-game series against the Rangers and dropped to 19-30 on the season. James Kaprielian takes the mound Sunday as Oakland looks to avoid the four-game sweep.

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