OAKLAND, Calif. — Jeff Samardzija arrived at the ballpark nearly five hours before making his first start with his new ballclub.
The right-hander left having secured a four-game sweep for the Athletics with a performance that showed why they were so eager to get him in a trade with the Cubs.
Samardzija pitched seven strong innings to win his Oakland debut, and the A's beat the Blue Jays 4-2 on Sunday.
"First impressions are always important," said Samardzija after improving his overall ERA to 2.74. "Like I said (Saturday), they didn't need me here. They were doing just fine without me. I don't want to come in and change anything and change the atmosphere. I just want to come in and add and do my part."
He did just that in earning his first win since June 7.
With the Cubs, Samardzija was 2-7 despite a 2.83 ERA. He was voted to the NL All-Star team but won't pitch and will spend the game in the AL dugout.
"He was excited as you could be," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "It was great to get him off to a good start like that. Terrific performance."
Samardzija, acquired a day earlier, received several standing ovations. He was cheered during pregame warmups and again after striking out the side in the seventh.
Samardzija was equally excited after receiving some early run support, something that was scarce in Chicago.
Jed Lowrie had two hits and scored twice and former Ray John Jaso added two hits and an RBI for the A's, who won their fourth straight.