OAKLAND — No need for A.J. Griffin to glance over his shoulder at the bullpen. This game was all his to finish, something that seemed far-fetched when he walked two of the game's first three batters.
Griffin tossed a two-hitter for his first win in more than a month, Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer and the A's beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Wednesday for a sweep of their two-game series.
Griffin (6-6) struck out seven and walked two in a 108-pitch gem for his first career complete game.
“I was trying not to think about it because I was hoping I wasn't going to blow it,” Griffin said. “Obviously, I get a little extra adrenaline going there.”
The shaggy-haired right-hander had been 0-3 in five starts since winning at Houston on May 25. He didn't allow a hit until Devin Mesoraco's one-out single in the fifth, and Xavier Paul added a two-out double in the seventh for Cincinnati.
Griffin's mother, Kathy Griffin — “not that one,” he quipped of the comedian — attended her first game of the season at the Coliseum to see his stellar start. With an off day Thursday, the pitcher planned to take his mom and girlfriend to a nice dinner.
It's been a while since he has felt celebratory. The A's had lost each of his last five starts.
“I was getting tired of not personally me [not] getting a win but going out there every fifth day and the team losing,” Griffin said.
Pinch-hitter Nate Freiman and Brandon Moss each hit an RBI double for Oakland.
Griffin gave the A's starters their first decision in four games after Oakland went three in a row without one for the first time this year. He struck out Jay Bruce swinging for a 1-2-3 ninth to end the 2-hour, 20-minute game — looking as strong late as he did early.
“The first two guys of the game it looked like his command might not be there,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Then he found it and was spectacular.”
Oakland's fourth inning provided all the run support Griffin needed.
Donaldson connected to highlight a four-run fourth after hitting a two-run homer in Tuesday night's 7-3 victory.
A's catcher Stephen Vogt is still searching for his first major league hit, going 0 for 3 to drop to 0 for 31 overall. Vogt was 0 for 25 with two walks in 18 games last season. Since 1990, the only longer hitless streak to open a career was 33 at-bats by Chris Carter with the A's in 2010.