OAKLAND -- Though Sean Nolin's A's debut ended in a 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Sunday, his employers got a six-inning glimpse of an arm that could prove effective in their rotation next year.
The left-handed Nolin, one of four players the A's reeled in from the Blue Jays for Josh Donaldson, was done in by a pair of costly walks in a three-run fifth -- he issued three overall and fanned one -- but impressed in his other five frames.
"I thought he threw the ball really well," manager Bob Melvin said. "Kept them off-balance, really not too many good swings, it was just the two walks that ended up costing him some runs."
The free passes, to Mariners No. 8 and 9 hitters Jesus Sucre an Shawn O'Malley, sandwiched a wild pitch that led to the first of three runs allowed by Nolin, who said, "I just rushed it a little bit, a slide-step curveball I didn't want to leave hanging. Just a bad bounce. It happens."
"The fifth inning wasn't the best," he said, "but overall, I was pretty happy with the day."
Nolin retired each of his first six batters, cruising through the heart of Seattle's order with ease, and he worked around three baserunners over the next two innings ahead of the fateful fifth, remaining in the game to complete six total on 85 pitches -- the most he's thrown since he tallied 102 on June 27 for Triple-A Nashville.
The southpaw appeared in just 14 games (12 starts) for the Sounds before his promotion because of his two separate injuries, and this marked the first time several members of the A's brass had seen him in game action since he arrived via trade, including Melvin.
He's expected to remain in the rotation the rest of the season.
"That's the deepest I've been in a game for a while," Nolin said. "I was definitely happy about it. I'm physically feeling good."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.