OAKLAND (AP) — Sure, Oakland manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young will reassure rookie pitcher Daniel Mengden he is doing just fine, even without a win to show for it yet.
“He knows we think he’s good, and he is,” Melvin said. “He knows he’s good, too. He might not tell you that but he knows he’s good.”
Mengden (0-3) struck out nine in his third career start but is still seeking his first major league victory after a 4-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
“Nah, it’s not frustrating,” Mengden said. “I’m just going out there and trying to give our team a chance to win. ... We’ll get it eventually.”
The 23-year-old right-hander was promoted to the majors on June 11 after only 43 appearances and 34 starts over three seasons in the minor leagues. He allowed seven hits and three runs with one walk over six innings.
He struck out the side in the sixth and knows a positive result will come soon enough.
Melvin referenced Mengden’s first start June 11 on a scorching-hot day in Cincinnati.
“From the first pitch of the game he looked like he belonged,” Melvin said.
Scooter Gennett and Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered to back Junior Guerra’s first victory in more than a month as Milwaukee earned a split of the quick two-game interleague series.
Gennett connected on a two-run shot in the fifth and Nieuwenhuis in the eighth.
Guerra (4-1) struck out eight over seven innings while facing the A’s for the first time in his career. Milwaukee improved to 8-2 in games when he starts, but he won for the first time in six outings since beating the Cubs on May 19.
Martin Maldonado had five hits for the season coming into Wednesday’s game, then added three more.
Coco Crisp homered in the fourth then made an error in left field the following inning that helped set up Milwaukee’s first run.
Ramon Flores hit a one-out double in the fifth then advanced to third on Crisp’s off throw.
Ryan Braun had a single and three strikeouts as the Brewers concluded a 2-7 road trip all in California — through San Francisco, Los Angeles and back to the Bay Area to face the A’s — with just their 13th road victory in 36 games.
Mengden treated Braun and Jonathan Lucroy “like any other hitter.”
Guerra allowed two runs and five hits with one walk. The right-hander was the first acquisition by new general manager David Stearns when claimed off waivers from the White Sox last Oct. 7.
Tyler Thornburg finished for his second save.
With Crisp’s miscue in left, Oakland committed its 10th error over the last nine games and 13th in 15.
Brewers: An MRI exam on LHP Chris Capuano’s troublesome pitching elbow was inconclusive and manager Craig Counsell said he would be re-evaluated to try to figure out the source of his pain, which he experienced in a simulated game Friday. ... SS Jonathan Villar had a day off for his first time out of the lineup since May 7 at Cincinnati, a span of 41 straight starts. “It’s a physical break, mental break, recharge the battery,” manager Craig Counsell said.
Athletics: LHP Rich Hill, on the disabled list since May 30 with a strained left groin, threw approximately 50 pitches to live hitters in a bullpen session and will throw again Friday before starting in a rehab appearance for Class-A Stockton on Monday. He could throw 60-65 pitches and it should be his only outing in the minors before being activated. ... RF Josh Reddick (fractured left thumb) will get 20-25 at-bats during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville, Melvin said. Rained out Tuesday, Reddick has played just one game, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Brewers: After an off day, Milwaukee returns home to Miller Park, where RHP Zach Davies (5-3) starts Friday against the Nationals looking to win his sixth straight decision after going 5-0 with a 2.40 ERA over his last nine.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (2-6) pitches Thursday night at Los Angeles opposite new Angels RHP Tim Lincecum, who beat the A’s in his season debut Saturday.