A's switch pitcher Venditte tops D-backs for 1st win

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 31, 2015 4:02 AM

(The Sports Xchange) - Oakland's Pat Venditte took a piece of history away from his first Major League victory Sunday.

The switch pitcher threw two scoreless innings in the Athletics' 7-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday at Chase Field, benefiting when shortstop Marcus Semien's two-run single broke a tie with two outs in the 11th inning.

"To get this first one was very special," Venditte said. "I'm sure it will sink in somewhere on that flight now, but right now we are just happy to get that win today."

Venditte, 29, began pitching with both hands at age three with his father's encouragement, and he became the first true switch pitcher in the modern era when he joined the A's in June.

Greg Harris threw with both hands in one game for the Montreal Expos in 1995.

"This is probably the best moment of his career, no doubt," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Venditte pitched a 1-2-3 10th inning, and the A's got three runs on four singles and a hit batsman with two outs in the 11th to beat Brad Ziegler (0-2).

Third baseman Danny Valencia and first baseman Stephen Vogt singled before catcher Josh Phegley was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Semien grounded an opposite-field single to right field to break a 4-4 tie, and second baseman Eric Sogard followed with a run-scoring single off right-hander A.J. Schugel.

Venditte gave up a leadoff single in the last of the 11th before retiring the next three. He is 1-2 with a 3.31 ERA, and lefties are 1-for-20 against him this season. He got both lefties he faced Sunday.

"It's incredible what he does," Vogt said. "Sure, there are other people out there who can throw with both hands, but how many people can pitch at the major league level successfully with both arms?"

Vogt had three hits, including a homer, as Oakland (57-74) won its first series since taking three of four against the Houston Astros from Aug. 6-9.

Left fielder David Peralta had three hits and a homer for Arizona (63-67), which has lost six of its last seven.

Inciarte singled and scored the tying run on a Peralta sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, and Inciarte traded words and gestures with Drew Pomeranz after the Oakland left-hander threw three pitches that were high and inside.

"It is not fun when a guy is throwing at your head," said Arizona manager Chip Hale, who went onto the field to speak to Inciarte.

"If you can't pitch inside, you shouldn't throw inside. That is unacceptable. Hopefully, we will get some new rules where if that ball is around his head, he gets thrown out of the game automatically."

(Compiled by Peter Rutherford)