San Francisco Chronicle
Jefferies gets his first career victory
ANAHEIM — Daulton Jefferies made his majorleague debut in 2020 amid a sea of empty seats at Texas’ Globe Life Field. Family and friends watched from afar due to pandemic restrictions. Sunday, then, made for a full occasion. Jefferies, the righthander from Merced and Cal, made his first start with the A’s this season at Angel Stadium — and earned his first majorleague win.
“I knew that this start would mean a whole lot more to me and to my family just because they would be here,” Jefferies said. “Everyone was here except for my dog, I think.”
They watched Jefferies, 25, work five innings in an 83 win over the Angels. Called up after the A’s placed James Kaprielian on the injured list with a shoulder impingement, Jefferies endured some early shakiness to allow three runs on three hits in his second bigleague outing.
Jefferies walked his first batter Sunday, mirroring his Texas debut in which he allowed five runs in two innings. Max Stassi hit a breaking ball for a tworun home run, and a secondinning walk to Brandon Marsh also hurt when Jack Mayfield followed with an RBI double off Jefferies.
Walks are not usually part of Jefferies’ game. He had issued just nine in 59 TripleA innings this season. After he issued a third, to Justin Upton, in the third, the Oakland bullpen started to stir. Jefferies steeled. He retired Stassi on a flyout and Matt Thaiss ona ground ball, then worked a clean fourth inning with two strikeouts.
“Sometimes when you go out there, you get knocked around a little bit early on and you’ve got to dig a little deeper,” manager Bob Melvin said. He “came back very nicely, which you like to see.”
Adam Eaton lined a single to open the fifth and bring up the top of the Angels’ lineup. Jefferies induced grounders from David Fletcher and Shohei Ohtani, the latter for a double play. Melvin said Ohtani might have been Jefferies’ final hitter had he reached base.
Jefferies threw 73 pitches and struck out three working for the first time with Yan Gomes, the catcher acquired by Oakland via trade Friday from the Nationals.
Jefferies, a 2016 firstround pick, said the A’s celebrated his first win in the clubhouse after the game and “guys were having fun.” Melvin said it is undecided yet whether Jefferies will make another start and that “all revolves around” Kaprielian’s health.
“It means a lot for me to come up here,” Jefferies said. “It’s just very humbling to be up here. This is what I dreamed of as a kid, so it was a lot of fun.”