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Game #35: A's Do Almost Everything Right; Win Big

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You know the days when you are trying to break a 6-game losing streak, and you have a struggling starting pitcher on the mound, an interesting offensive lineup behind him, and a whole lot of Jim Johnsons in the bullpen and you feel like it should be over before it started? But then your weakest offensive player racks up three RBI, your starting pitcher throws seven innings behind incredible defense, your offense scores eight, and your weakest arm in the outfield throws out a runner and you're left to wonder about those pesky capricious baseball gods.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was...unexpected. In a game that looked anything but a sure thing on paper, Drew Pomeranz and the A's offense downed the Boston Red Sox to the tune of 9-2 behind home runs by Josh Reddick (who was also 4-5 on the night), Stephen Vogt and Marcus Semien (who was just a double shy of the cycle) and two big RBI hits by none other than Eric Sogard. Justin Masterson lasted just one out into the second inning, giving up six of the A's runs, leaving Steven Wright, knuckleballer extraordinaire, to finish the game. Meanwhile, Pomeranz tossed seven innings in his start, allowing four hits and two earned runs. He struck out three and walked no one, which likely accounted for the snappy pace of the game, which was a welcome sight to all. Bullpen darling Fernando Rodriguez pitched an uneventful eighth inning and the much-maligned Dan Otero pitched a clean ninth to finish the game, and the win for the A's.

Aside from Semien's tough error (that likely should have been charged to Muncy at first), the A's defense was tremendous tonight; there were sparkling plays made all over the field behind Pomeranz. Stephen Vogt made a terrific sliding catch, Coco Crisp threw out a runner and made a nice catch, Sogard also followed with a nice play in the field; so did Sam Fuld. Tonight was the A's at their best, and they have evened up their series with Sonny Gray on the mound tomorrow in the rubber game, an event the A's haven't seen much of this year.

Pomeranz faced the minimum in the first inning after Coco Crisp threw out Pedroia trying to stretch a single into a double. The A's put three on the board immediately on a one out triple by Semien, a single by Reddick, and a two-run home run by Vogt. Coco Crisp led off again tonight and went 0-4, but did walk once.

The A's would add a run in the second on a Lawrie single and a Sogard double while Pomeranz faced the minimum batters in the second and third innings as well. Reddick homered to lead off the third inning to give the A's the 5-0 lead, and after Vogt and Muncy walked and Lawrie singled to load the bases, Eric Sogard came up with a big two-out hit and gave the A's the 7-0 lead. Pomeranz continued to face the minimum batters through four. Semien would add the A's 8th run on his solo home run in the fourth.

Up 8-0, Pomeranz would surrender a solo run in the sixth and seventh, but it was a far cry from his five-inning performances of the past. He was a huge stopper for the losing skid, and he did absolutely everything quickly tonight; including throwing strikes. He didn't get into his long counts and kept his defense on its toes.

Just for good measure, Josh Reddick would single in another run in the eighth to put a little icing on the cake. Reddick and Vogt are making an early push to stand out in the league this year. Vogt has 9 home runs on the year; Reddick and Semien both have 6 each.

This was a fun A's game. Let's see if they can win two in a row and take a series. The road back to .500 starts with a winning streak. LET'S GO OAK-LAND!