BOSTON -- Though right-hander Kendall Graveman was denied a win in Boston on Sunday afternoon, despite allowing just one run in seven-plus innings in the A's 7-4 loss, his performance did not go unnoticed.
Graveman not only reached a career high in innings, but he stranded five baserunners over his first three before setting down 13 of his final 14 batters -- the last being Rusney Castillo, who homered to lead off the eighth, setting in motion a decisive seven-run inning.
"He really pitched well," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Since he's been back, he's pitched great and probably no better than today."
Graveman, who allowed just six hits to a Red Sox lineup that tallied 11 in each of the first two games of this series while tying his career-best strikeout total of six, has a 2.55 ERA in four starts since his May 23 return from Triple-A Nashville.
He's completed at least five innings in each of those outings, and at least six in three.
"I still felt strong coming back out for the eighth, still felt like the baseball was coming out good," said Graveman. "My body felt great. I did a good job this week working in the bullpen and weight room trying to go seven and not wear out in the sixth."
Had Castillo not hit a 3-2 cutter over the Green Monster, Graveman believes he would've gotten through eight, too.
"That's on me," he said. "I feel I have to continue to stay focused there in the eighth and make a pitch down in the zone instead of making a mistake."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.