***A's GameThread Here***
A's bats came out tonight swinging off of Red Sox starter, Doug Fister, scoring four runs in the top of the 1st inning. Marcus Semian singled to start off the game. Do you like him in the lead-off spot? He isn't the ideal lead-off hitter, but he has held his own in that spot in the line-up when inserted there here in the second half. After a Matt Joyce strikeout, Jed Lowrie tripled to plate Semian, Krush Davis fisted a bloop single into right center to bring Lowrie home and Matt Olson decided to show the Boston faithful the future of A's baseball, with a blast to right (#18) to score himself and Davis, making it 4-0 after 5 batters. Here are the top of the 1st inning video highlights:
Jed Looooooowrie cranks an RBI triple and the A's take a 1-0 lead! pic.twitter.com/dMwOMa8oY1— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 13, 2017
Khris Davis knocks in his 102nd RBI of the season! 2-0 A's! pic.twitter.com/k3DJO1bogp— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 13, 2017
Jharel Cotton, came into the game with the numbers against him...5.82 ERA, 27 home runs allowed in 119 innings and the "Green Monster" only 310 feet or 124 steps from home plate. Cotton pitching with the US Virgin Islands on his mind (you can give to Cotton's Hurricane Irma Virgin Island Fundraiser here) gave the A's a gritty performance.
Cotton's pitching line would end of being: 5 innings (80 pitches), 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 home-run allowed, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. It wasn't a dominant performance, but on a night when the A's offense would plate 6 runs in 4 innings off of Red Sox starter, Doug Fister, it was enough to get the "W."
After scoring 4 runs in the top of the 1st inning, the Oakland offense would crank up the noise again in the 3rd, with Matt Joyce leading off the inning with a single. Then Jed Lowrie, who had tripled in the 1st, would hit his 45th double of the season to score Joyce all the way from 1st base. Lowrie would be moved over to 3rd on a Krush Davis grounder and after a Matt Olson intentional walk (he has achieved IBB status!), Chad Pinder would ground a ball to Red Sox second baseman, Dustin "I get a hit every time I bat against the A's" Pedroia....It appeared to be an inning ending double play, but Olson displaying great baseball IQ, stopped dead in his tracks in the basepath between 1st and 2nd base, causing Pedroia to delay his tag and throw. This small but great baserunning move, caused the Red Sox to only get one out on the play and allowed Jed Lowrie to score from 3rd to make the score 6-1, A's...This Olson kid is growing on me!
The Red Sox would score runs in the 3rd and 5th off of Cotton (a Andrew Benintenti double in the 3rd would plate Xander Bogaerts and a Jackie Bradley HR in the 5th). With the score cut in half to 6-3, A's catcher, Bruce Maxwell, would drive in a key insurance run in the top of the 6th inning:
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Liam Hendriks would pitch a scoreless frame and then in the 7th inning, the rain would interrupt play for 19 minutes and thin out the announced Fenway Park crowd of 36,366. After the delay, the A's relief staff would carry the team to victory as lefty Daniel Coulombe and righties Ryan Dull, Chris Hatcher and Blake Treinen would pitch scoreless innings of relief to close out the victory for the A's (6th win in the last 7 games).
Today is also a cool day in A's history as it was on this day in 1953 that Bob Trice becomes the first African-American to appear in a major league game for the Athletics (six years after Jackie Robinson had debuted for the Dodgers). Six years later the Boston Red Sox would become the last MLB club to integrate, via Elijah "Pumpsie" Green. …In an unrelated, but kind of related item, 3 fans unfurled a banner during the 4th inning of tonight's game in Boston, criticizing America's perceived racist past and present. At least I think that is what the banner was protesting. You can read about it more here if you are interested.
In about 14 hours (Thursday Game Time, 10:35am pacific time), the A's and Red Sox will square off again in the deciding game of the series. Our beloved team may not own the AL Record for most consecutive wins any longer (dumb windians), but we have a new ballpark heading our way, a win over the Sox to savor and a group of Athletics that are just plain fun to watch and root for. Let's Go Oakland!!!!