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Joey Estes flirts with perfection in Athletics’ win over Mariners – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

Athletics pitcher Joey Estes was perfect through six innings Wednesday night at the Oakland Coliseum, but his first pitch of the seventh inning ruined his chance to make MLB history.

Seattle Mariners shortstop JP Crawford broke up Estes’ perfect game with a leadoff double, ending the 22-year-old pitcher’s night and certainly the best start of his young career.

After Mason Miller surrendered a ninth-inning home run to Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez, the star closer and the A’s held on for a 2-1 win behind Zack Gelof’s fifth home run of the 2024 MLB season, snapping the hitting streak second baseman was extended. six games.

And despite whispers on social media and certainly around the ballpark as Estes flirted with perfection, the right-hander wasn’t thinking about whether or not he would actually retire 27 batters in a row that night.

“It’s just one of those things where you kind of know what’s happening, but nothing changes,” Estes told reporters after the game. “I’m still pounding the offensive zone, and it’s the same play. Nothing changes, but yeah, I guess you see it, but it doesn’t eat me in the head or anything…

“I just went out and did my job. I noticed one time (the Mariners) took the hit, I think.”

Estes’ gem against the Mariners coincidentally came less than a month after he earned his first MLB victory in Seattle on May 11. While there have been ups and downs for Estes since then, his near-perfect performance on Wednesday lowered his ERA from 6.10 to 4.67. five starts this season.

After surrendering his only hit of the night to Crawford, Estes got Josh Rojas to fly out before A’s manager Mark Kotsay pulled him from the game on 78 pitches – 58 of which were hits. Oakland reliever TJ McFarland then escaped a bases-loaded jam to preserve the lead and Estes’ sanity.

“I mean, I don’t know if the camera was on me, (but) I was going crazy (in the dugout). It’s a really good feeling as a pitcher when you get out of an inning and your guys come out.” the bullpen and they shut him down,” Estes said, before noting he had no problem with Kotsay’s decision to cut him.

“Of course (I wanted to stay in), but I trust my skip. The manager has his plans and he knows what to do.”

Kotsay explained after the match that he did not want Estes to potentially be on the hook for a loss or no decision if Rodriguez, who was next up, was able to make loud contact again from the starter as he did in the fourth inning when he flew sharply to center field.

“(Estes) had some really good stuff tonight,” Kotsay told reporters. “He’s such a competitor. In that situation it’s hard to take the ball away from him, but Julio had lofted a ball into the middle earlier in the second at bat, so there’s no point in letting him in and hitting him.” give it a chance.” chance not to win there.”

Kotsay’s decision ultimately paid off, and Estes’ performance wasn’t wasted as the A’s evened their three-game set with the AL West-leading Mariners at one win apiece.

And while Estes failed to secure the 25th perfect game in MLB history, Wednesday night was certainly one the young pitcher won’t soon forget — and one that has Oakland excited about his future.