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The 26-year-old Montas has had varied success during parts of two seasons with the A’s, but he was dominant this spring after adding a splitter to complement a 97-mph fastball and slider. The new pitch produced immediate results as Montas went 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in five games with 16 strikeouts and five walks over 16 innings.
“Deservedly so,” Melvin said. “He’s had a terrific spring, pitched well whether he was starting a game, whether he was piggy-backing with somebody, and continued pitching the same the entire spring — with some pressure on him knowing that he had to win a job. Proud of him. He deserves to be in the rotation.”
Melvin didn’t use a projected starter in Oakland’s 5-4 exhibition win over San Francisco, instead relying strictly on his bullpen to carry the pitching load. Nine relievers combined on a six-hitter.
Mark Canha hit a two-run double off