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Game #86: A’s lineup takes holiday off, shut out by Red Sox

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No fireworks by Oakland’s hitters on July 4th

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics
Lowrie telling the ump how much he loves America
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s played a game on July 4, but instead of fireworks it was mostly strikeouts and popups.

The A’s collected just four hits and were shut out 1-0 by the Boston Red Sox on Sunday at the Coliseum, wrapping up a series loss against the team with the top record in the American League.

*** Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread! ***

After an emotionally draining 12-inning victory last night, Oakland simply never got anything going on offense this afternoon. They collected only four hits and three walks, and only twice did they put multiple runners on in the same inning, in the 1st and 9th. Of their 27 outs, 17 were by strikeout or infield popout.

In the 1st, Matt Olson walked and Matt Chapman doubled him to third, but they were stranded. In the 9th, Olson singled and Jed Lowrie walked, but again nobody could drive them home. In between those endpoints, nothing at all happened, and at one point 14 straight A’s batters were retired. They went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, but the bigger problem was the lack of getting on base to give themselves more opportunities.

Oakland nearly matched the Sox on the other side of the ball, but not quite. James Kaprielian was brilliant again, spinning seven innings of one-run ball while striking out a career-high 10 batters. The right-hander got some extra help on the corners from the umpire, even beyond the comically wide plate we’ve seen for everybody all year, but it’s not the first time we’ve said that about Kap and it might not be a fluke anymore.

  • Kaprielian: 7 ip, 1 run, 10 Ks, 1 BB, 5 hits, 97 pitches, 90.1 mph EV

Even the one run he allowed came attached with praise. The 6th inning began with a double to the wall and then a single, and with nobody out there were runners on the corners. But within five pitches, Kaprielian induced a 4-6-3 double play and then a routine flyout to end the frame. A run did score on the double play, but that’s still a fantastic escape job from a setup that could have led to a much worse rally.

The only problem was that his teammates couldn’t come up with a single run to match it. There were zero RBI in this game for either team.

And the day started so well, with this diving play by Elvis Andrus on the very first pitch of the afternoon.

On both Friday and Saturday, Andrus drove in the tying run in the late innings, and he had a chance to complete the hat trick by doing it again today. But with a runner on second and two out in the 8th inning, he popped out.

Happy July 4th!

After a crazy win like last night, there’s always the chance that the next afternoon is a sleepy one. Shrug it off and enjoy the holiday, and also the fact that Oakland held the second-best lineup in the majors to 10 total runs over three games, and also that Olson was selected to the All-Star team.