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A.J. Puk, Sheldon Neuse shine despite Athletics’ loss vs. Giants

A.J. Puk, Sheldon Neuse shine despite Athletics' loss vs. Giants

Puk, Neuse shine as A’s fall in Bay Bridge Series opener originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Bay Bridge Series opener on Tuesday didn’t fall in the Athletics’ favor, but two promising players continued to contribute at the plate and on the mound.

Pitcher A.J. Puk and infielder Sheldon Neuse made the most of their opportunities during the 8-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park, which saw the A’s take on a formidable, familiar foe with one of the best records in baseball.

Manager Mark Kotsay told reporters after the loss that he was impressed with San Francisco ace Carlos Rodón, who topped out at 98.5 mph on Tuesday night and struck out nine. But Kotsay was also impressed with Puk and Neuse, who both made an impact during the game despite the final score.

With the A’s trailing 2-0 after two innings, Neuse recorded his second hit of the game in the third inning with an RBI single off of Rodón that scored Nick Allen.

Neuse finished the night 2-for-4 and was the only A’s batter to get more than one hit, while Seth Brown recorded the game’s other RBI when he scored Cristian Pache with a double in the seventh.

Kotsay believes Neuse is becoming more comfortable at the top of the lineup in spite of some trouble he had on the field Tuesday.

“Sheldon did a great job, a couple of nice at-bats,” Kotsay told reporters. “A couple of stolen bases, really playing well. I think we saw that in his first go-around here in glimpses, and now we’re getting to see it consistently. So that’s good.”

Neuse was first acquired by the A’s as a top prospect midway through 2017 and was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2021 season. He tore it up in the minor leagues for Oakland but didn’t stick in LA. Now, he’s back in the A’s organization after being claimed on waivers in March.

Neuse has made the most of his opportunity to start as the A’s deal with COVID, suspensions and injuries, hitting .327/.397/.404 so far this…

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