Melvin pleased with Triggs in spot start

Right-hander allows one run in three innings to begin bullpen day vs. Angels

Melvin pleased with Triggs in spot start

OAKLAND -- Using all relievers is never ideal, but it was essentially a necessity on Saturday for the A's, whose best pitching performance came from the one who started the game.

Right-hander Andrew Triggs, recalled from Triple-A Nashville for his starting debut, recorded nine outs on 50 pitches, allowing one run -- he exited after a leadoff home run to Mike Trout in the fourth -- in the club's 7-1 loss.

Triggs was overlooked by the mere presence of his opponent: veteran Tim Lincecum pitched six innings of one-run ball in his season debut, picking up his first win in a year. But Triggs still managed to do his part to impress, perhaps opening the window for more opportunities at the big league level, even if back in a bullpen role.

Triggs had made just one start in 161 Minor League appearances, despite starting during most of his collegiate career at the University of Southern California, but the A's -- hopeful of welcoming back injured starters Rich Hill and Sean Manaea by month's end -- have no imminent plans to convert him permanently.

"He does a great job for us with his versatility," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He showed us he can go from throwing 25 pitches to 70, and he pitched well. But hopefully we have some guys coming back to where we don't have to do that to him."

"If they requested it, I'd absolutely be open to the idea, but as far as I know right now, I'm a bullpen guy, and that's what I've been the last four years," Triggs said. "If that door opened, I would embrace it, but for now I'm just going to worry about getting outs in whatever situation they tell me."

Triggs treated the start much like days when he's relieving: He warmed up with relievers pregame, before cranking it up 30 minutes before first pitch. By the third inning, he said, he felt his stuff was faltering, despite needing only seven pitches to get through the frame.

"Just because of what you're conditioned to do coming out of the bullpen, I wouldn't say I hit a wall, but your stuff is a little bit less sharp when you reach a certain threshold," Triggs explained. "I wish I had gotten to go a little bit deeper into the game, but I just wasn't sharp as I wanted to be as things went on, even in that third inning. Even though it was good, I didn't feel like I was as sharp as I wanted to be."

"For a guy that hasn't started, to come in and embrace it and pitch well, give up one run," Melvin said, "I thought he did his job for sure."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.