Jesse Chavez, pitcher of the century?

That's a bit of hyperbole for a 30-year-old right-hander who had made all of two career starts before this season.

But by limiting the Astros to one earned run in six innings in the A's 4-1 win at the Coliseum on Sunday afternoon, Chavez accomplished something that no Athletics pitcher has done since at least 1914.

He was on the roster to open the season and he has allowed fewer than two earned runs while working at least six innings in each of his first four starts. In his case, it has been exactly one earned run in each start.

Chavez said Sunday's outing was his toughest of 2014.

"We'd like them to all go ... like the first three did, but today was one of those days where I had to make pitches and see pretty much what I was made of as a starter."

Said manager Bob Melvin: "That's really the mark of a good pitcher, when you don't have your best stuff, you're fighting yourself some ... (but you're) able to give us six innings like he did."

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds, Chavez might define the word "spindly." He definitely knows something about perseverance. He made his pro debut with Spokane, a Rangers affiliate, in 2003.

He has bounced around the majors from Pittsburgh to Atlanta to Kansas City to Toronto to Oakland. Chavez made those two pre-2014 starts with the Jays in 2012.

Through all those moves, Chavez believed he'd find a spot in a rotation "eventually. That's just my mentality. You have to stay after it. If I didn't, I wouldn't be in this position. I'm just fortunate and thankful enough that they gave me the opportunity for this."