Montas parlays new pitch into spot in A's rotation

3:27 AM ET

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin took another step toward finalizing his pitching rotation Monday, announcing right-hander Frankie Montas will be the team’s fourth starter.

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.

He joins an A’s rotation that includes Mike Fiers, Marco Estrada and Brett Anderson.

“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

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