Brady preserves bullpen with lengthy outing

A's reliever goes 5 1/3 after Manaea is pulled early

Brady preserves bullpen with lengthy outing

OAKLAND -- Long reliever Michael Brady provided a valuable service for the A's in Saturday's 12-5 loss to the Orioles. Brady came in to the game with one out in the first inning and four runs already in off of starter Sean Manaea, who only faced seven hitters. Brady proceeded to throw 5 1/3 innings.

"Any time a guy comes in and gives you that type of length with close to 70 pitches, it's a bullpen saver for you," manager Bob Melvin said.

Brady allowed three runs on seven hits, giving up a two-run double in the first and a two-run single in the fourth. Brady struck out five and didn't walk a batter on 71 pitches.

"Even though he gave up some runs, we're in a position tomorrow where we're only down him and maybe one other guy," Melvin said. There's some silver linings in games like that, and that was one of them."

Melvin on blowout loss

As the long reliever, Brady says it's part of the job to be ready once the game begins, but he admitted it's tough to get ready to pitch in the first as a reliever.

"You don't want to expect to get up that early," Brady said. "Sometimes those things happen. Manaea's been really good, but everyone has their off days."

It was the second straight outing in which Brady has gone long in relief of Manaea. After being called up July 31, Brady he threw six innings against the Giants on Aug. 1, when Manaea only lasted three innings, and allowed four runs on five hits.

Brady was optioned to Triple-A Nashville the next night and made one start with the Sounds, giving up a run in five innings Aug. 8. The A's recalled him Friday to add an extra arm to a weary bullpen, which proved to be a wise decision Saturday.

Brady takes pride in being the long reliever, both in trying to extend a relief appearance and in helping keep the other bullpen guys fresh.

"I'm happy to be here. If they call me in the first, I'll be ready. If they need six or seven, I'll throw six or seven. Whatever I can do to help out the team, I'm fine with. I don't want to make [Melvin] or Emo [pitching coach Scott Emerson] bring in someone else.

"I'm just trying to save those arms for the next game or the next game after that. If you can give one guy an extra day by going five instead of four, that's a win for the team. I just try to go as long as I can and keep it close."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.