Fernando Abad didn’t get the win Tuesday, the save or anything close to it.
He might well have been the game’s savior for Oakland, however.
The left handed was brought into the game with the A’s in a 2-1 hole after starter Scott Kazmir had tired, putting two of the first three men of the seventh inning on base. One bad pitch from Abad and the A’s wouldn’t have gotten to extra innings, much less won it 5-2 in the 10th.
All Abad had to do was get leadoff man Brett Gardner and Yankee legend Derek Jeter. Easy? Not so much.
Regardless, Abad got both, Gardner striking out and Jeter flying out. Moments later Stephen Vogt tied the game with an RBI double, setting the stage for the 10th inning Brandon Moss homer that spark the decisive rally.
“That’s a tough situation for any reliever right there,’’ Kazmir said. “He comes in and gets two of the biggest outs of the game.’’
Dan Otero, who pitched a scoreless ninth for the win, pointed to Abad as the reason the club could celebrate a fourth straight victory.
“That’s what he does, all the time,’’ Otero said. “He pitches with so much confidence now. And that’s how much confidence we have in him.’’
Abad, who pitches generally in the seventh or eighth inning, still hasn’t won a game for the A’s (0-2), but he has a 1.93 ERA, and the A’s have won 15 of the 28 games in which he’s appeared.
“I’m ready for that role,’’ Abad said after the game. “Back in spring training, Bob Melvin told me to be ready in those kinds of situations. So I make sure I am.
“Beginning about the fifth inning I get up and get myself ready mentally. And after that, I’m OK no matter what the situation he wants me to pitch.’’