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D-backs’ Trevor Cahill ‘unable to execute’ against Oakland

In his first Cactus League start last Saturday, Trevor Cahill was very much in control.

The right-hander gave up a single run on two hits while striking out four in 3.1 innings of work during a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Thursday was a different story. Cahill’s former team, the Oakland A’s, roughed him for six runs on eight hits in three innings. Cahill struck out four once again, but also allowed homers to Sam Fuld and Brandon Moss in an 8-8 tie at Salt River Fields.

But for Cahill, the day wasn’t overly discouraging.

“Mechanically, I felt better than I did last start, but the results weren’t there so it’s just something to work on, I guess,” he said.

Oakland jumped on Cahill right away. After Coco Crisp grounded out to first to start the game, A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie doubled to right. The next hitter, Yoenis Cespedes singled in Lowrie. Josh Donaldson and John Jason added run-scoring singles and after a half-inning, Oakland led 3-0.

The D-backs answered with four runs in the bottom of the first off of Oakland starter Sonny Gray, but the A’s picked up where they left off in the second when Fuld led off the inning with a home run to right field.

The Athletics tacked on two more in the third on Moss’ blast that scored Cespedes.

“Right now I’m working on stuff and figuring out what works,” Cahill said. “Some pitches aren’t there yet, but for the most part I feel like I’m getting closer, so hopefully the next one is better.”

Manager Kirk Gibson was a little more blunt, chalking up Cahill’s struggles to veering off path.

“We had a chance to get out of that (first) inning a lot easier than we did, but Trevor didn’t make the pitches he needed to make,” he said. “He didn’t really follow the game plan that we were talking about. He was unable to execute it, and it was one of those days.”

Despite the criticism of Cahill’s Thursday work, Gibson isn’t too concerned that the struggles are a sign of things to come.

“He’s starting in Australia,” he said. “I’m not worried about it.”