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Neshek pitches in aftermath of son's death

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DETROIT (AP) - Pat Neshek was overcome with emotion when he found out his teammates were taking the field wearing patches honoring his late son.

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``I'll be honest - I completely broke down,'' Neshek said. ``I can't believe the support I've gotten from the team and my teammates. I couldn't be doing this without that.''

The Oakland reliever pitched briefly in the Athletics' 3-1 loss to Detroit in the American League playoffs Saturday night. The A's wore patches with the initials GJN.

Gehrig John Neshek died 23 hours after his birth.

Neshek entered the game with two on and one out in the seventh inning but got out of the jam without any scoring.

``I thought that was great,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ``We wanted to try to get him into a game sooner than later. I don't know that there's any great time to try to potentially get him a soft landing in the playoffs.''

Neshek said he felt someone was watching and helping with his last pitch, which he called his best slider of the year. He touched the patch as he left the field while looking in the direction of his wife's seat.

``That was for all three of us,'' he said.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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