Blackley bummed by seven-run outing, can’t wait for chance at redemption

PHOENIX – You had to feel a bit for A’s reliever/starter Travis Blackley Friday.

Pitching against the Giants, he faced eight hitters. Seven of them reached base, and all of those seven scored.

This is no way to make a baseball roster.

“That frigging hurt,’’ Blackley said Saturday morning in the A’s clubhouse. “I’m too competitive for it not to hurt, spring training or not.’’

And for it to happen against the Giants, of all people. It was San Francisco that put him on waivers last May 15, at which point the A’s claimed him and saw him reward them by going 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 games, five of them starts.

He pitched Game 161 last Oct. 2, beating the Rangers 3-1 and keeping the A’s pennant dream alive. Oakland won the title the next day.

Performances like that one will have much more resonance with the A’s going forward than Friday’s. Still, it was a royal pain Down Under.

“What I keep telling myself,’’ the Australian-born Blackley said, “is that I go out next time and get a 1-2-3 inning and everything will be OK again. I can’t wait to get out there.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.