Oakland, CA – On Monday night Pablo Sandoval hit a home run in extra innings and received his championship ring earlier that day. The excitement definitely didn’t roll over into the next day, Sandoval was met with boo’s every time he came to bat. The A’s not only shut him down tonight but the Red Sox as well for the 9-2 victory.
“We’ve just been in a little funk for a stretch there, but this is who we are, this is how we played last year,” said Drew Pomeranz. “We’ll just go from here now.”
Oakland’s offense came alive immediately scoring three runs in the first. The A’s tied their career-high with three home runs tonight for the fifth time this season. Marcus Semien got the offense going with a triple in the first followed by Josh Reddick’s RBI single. Stephen Vogt capped off the inning with a two-run homer making it a 3-0 game.
Pomeranz got off to a great start but had a hiccup in the first. He retired the first batter but gave up a single to Dustin Pedroia who was put out at second. Pedroia thought he could out run Coco Crisp’s arm from left field. Crisp threw to second baseman Eric Sogard before Pedroia had a chance to slide into second for the second out. David Ortiz flew out to center field to end the frame.
“I had seven marks on my card as far as defensive plays tonight,” Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I like that. Usually a good recipe when your starter goes deep in the game and your making good defensive plays.”
“They made some good defensive plays,” said Boston’s manager John Farrell. “If we take care of our end of things from the mound, obviously that’s a different game and those are completely different at-bats when you’re within a run vs eight.”
The A’s defense tonight was utterly outstanding compared to Monday night’s game. Crisp made a great back hand catch on Hanley Ramirez fly ball to left field. Vogt closed out the third inning when he made a sliding catch on Blake Swihart’s pop up. Boston’s starting pitcher Justin Masterson was chased off the mound when he gave up a leadoff home run to Reddick and issued a free pass to Vogt in the third.
Masterson lasted only 2 1/3 innings charged with six runs, six hits, one walk, one strikeout and two home runs. In his shortest stint of the season, he had only given up two homers combined in his first six starts. Masterson never had command on the mound especially when Oakland got him off track early.
“Clearly, he’s not right,” Farrell said of Masterson. “Whether that’s physical, whether that’s delivery-wise, the ball not coming out of his hand as he’s shown for the better part of the year. We’ve got to gather some information overnight.”
The A’s successfully scored in a run through four frames. Sogard’s RBI double added on another run in the second. Red Sox’s reliever Steven Wright loaded the bases in the third with a walk to Max Muncy and a single to Brett Lawrie with two outs. Sogard’s two-run single extended the Oakland’s lead 7-0. But the A’s weren’t done yet! Semien’s leadoff home run made it a 8-0 in the fourth.
While Boston was shutout through five innings, they scored their first run in the sixth. Pomeranz allowed his second hit and first baserunner as Crisp failed to throw out Shane Victorino on a double attempt to leadoff the inning. After retiring the next three batters, Victorino scored on Swihart’s ground out putting Boston on the board.
The Red Sox tried to chip away at Oakland’s lead. Pedroia led off the seventh with a single and advanced to second on Semien’s throwing error. Semien leads the Majors with eleven errors, five errors in the last four games. Mike Napoli knocked a single to right field scoring in Pedroia making it a 8-2 game. Sandoval grounded out to third baseman Lawrie to first baseman Muncy. But first base umpire, Ron Kulpa ruled Sandoval safe, the A’s challenged the call and it was overturned to end the inning.
Oakland snapped a season-high six-game losing streak. Four of the team’s runs came by the long ball. Vogt hit his 9th home run of the season, both Reddick and Semien hit their 6th home run of the season. Sogard drove in a season-high three runs after driving in four all season. Semien with ten multiple hit games over his last 20 games after hitting .236 over his first 15 contests. Reddick went 4-for-5 with all six of his home runs and 24 of his 25 RBI’s against right-handed pitching.
‘We needed it, big time,” said Vogt. “Look around the clubhouse tonight, and everybody’s smiling, everybody’s happy. We haven’t felt this way all week.”