For someone who was toiling until the last couple of weeks in the minor leagues, Brad Mills looks like the Major Leagues are somewhere he could prosper.
After a four-inning, 94-pitch start against the Red Sox after the A’s picked him up from the Brewers, the left-hander has come back with starts of 6.1 and 6-plus innings in which he’s allowed three runs each time.
The numbers aren’t awe-inspiring, but when you pitch for the team that generates more runs than anyone, that’s at least enough to keep a guy competitive.
And the A’s are more than impressed by what Mills has done.
“He’s done a great job,’’ right fielder Brandon Moss said. “He pitched into the seventh, he gave us another good performance.
“But at some point we have to score a run for him, and we just didn’t do that.’’
Manager Bob Melvin came away impressed once again by Mills, who retired the first eight men he faced, striking out four of them, and only seemed troubled by cleanup hitter J.D. Martinez, whose double in the fourth set up the first run and whose two-run homer in the sixth locked the game away for Detroit.
“He gives up three runs to a team like this, and one of them’s on a ground ball and another’s on a homer,’’ Melvin said. “Really, the only bad pitch he made was the homer. But when you give up three and you don’t get anything …
“It’s a pretty well-pitched game by him. We just couldn’t help him out.’’
For his part, Mills seems to be settling in, although he second-guessed a couple of the pitches he threw, in particular the Martinez homer.
“I felt like I came out throwing strikes, making them swing,’’ Mills said. “There were a couple of pitches I’d like back. The homer was a changeup first pitch. I couldn’t locate it like I wanted.’’
He said the fact that Rick Porcello was putting the A’s away inning after inning didn’t impact his job.
“I don’t worry about what their guy is doing,’’ Mills said. “I’ve got a job to do. That doesn’t change what I’m trying to do, which is going out and trying to get strike one.
“The last two games I’ve gone out and given the team a chance to win. That’s my job, so I feel like the last two have been good.’’