Mike Fiers Impresses in A's Debut: ‘He Gave Us Exactly What We Needed'

OAKLAND - Mike Fiers didn't earn the win Wednesday night, but just about everything else went right for the 33-year-old right-hander in his A's debut.

Fiers struck out eight of the first 12 batters he faced, carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning. He ended up allowing only one run in 5 1/3 innings, helping the A's to a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers at the Coliseum.

"I felt good the whole game," Fiers said. "Everything was working."

"To get off to the start he did in front of our crowd for the first time was terrific," A's manager Bob Melvin added. "With a rested bullpen, he gave us exactly what we needed."

Fiers came out of the game in the sixth inning, after throwing just 78 pitches, but Melvin had prepared him for that possibility.

"I talked to him when he got here and I said, 'Look, there are going to be days when (our bullpen is) rested that you might come out of games a little earlier than you think,' " the manager said. "But he was fine with it, and we ended up with a win."

Added Fiers: "As much as I want to stay in the game, I trust these guys behind me, and they picked me up today."

Even with a new team, Fiers did have some familiarity behind the plate in A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy. The two were teammates in Milwaukee from 2011 to 2015.

"It felt like old times," Fiers smiled. "He knows my strengths, so we were going with that, making them make the adjustment first."

Fiers typically hasn't been a strikeout pitcher in his career -- he entered Wednesday with just 87 strikeouts in 119 innings this season -- but he fanned eight Dodgers to match his season high.

"I'll take 'em," Fiers said with a laugh. "I was just trying to throw everything for strikes, make them put it in play, get to two strikes, and try to expand."

"Probably a little adrenaline going," Melvin suggested. "It was a pretty good crowd, and it was his first time with a new team. You want to make an impression."

Fiers certainly did that, earning rave reviews from Oakland's top sluggers.

"Really good," Khris Davis said. "He gave us a chance to win the ballgame, for sure. He's a competitor."

Added Jed Lowrie: "He did exactly what he does. He pitches up with the fastball and sets guys up with off-speed down. He's a pro. He knows what he has to do to be successful, and he executed well tonight."

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