OAKLAND – The guys in the green and white uniforms Tuesday night sure didn’t resemble the 2015 A’s, which is the exact effect they were going for.
Putting together the kind of dominant all-around performance that’s been mostly absent this season, the A’s extinguished their six-game losing streak with a 9-2 rout of the Boston Red Sox.
It was an exciting, crisp, energetic performance. And so very much needed.
They got home runs from Stephen Vogt, Josh Reddick and Marcus Semien. Drew Pomeranz turned in seven sharp innings on the mound. And, a defense that’s been the worst in the majors turned in no less than a half-dozen highlight-worthy plays.
The A’s led 8-0 by the end of the fourth, ensuring there would be no self-inflicted disappointment in the late innings. With the Astros’ loss to the Giants, Oakland also picked up a game on the American League West leaders for the first time since May 5, exactly one week.
That was immaterial.
The boost in the standings wasn’t as significant as the boost to the A’s collective psyche that this victory must have provided.
Starting pitching report:
Manager Bob Melvin talked of the need for Pomeranz (2-3) to pitch deeper into games. From that standpoint, it was a timely outing as the lefty worked seven innings and held the Sox to four hits. He didn’t allow a walk, struck out three and faced the minimum through five innings. It snapped a streak of five consecutive starts in which Pomeranz lasted fewer than six innings.
Fernando Rodriguez and Dan Otero closed out the win for Pomeranz.
At the plate:
Vogt continued his season-long tear. He hammered a two-run homer in the first off Justin Masterson (2-2), who lasted just 2 1/3 innings, then walked and scored another run in the A’s three-run third. He’s hitting .337, ranks in the top five in the AL with nine home runs and leads the league with 30 RBI. This from a player who was coming off surgery and not even slated for full-time catching duty during spring training. Reddick went 4-for-5 and had three RBI. Eric Sogard, the No. 9 hitter, also drove in three runs.
On the flip side, Coco Crisp went 0-for-4 and is 0-for-25 on the season. Dating back to late last season, the switch hitter is hitless in his past 38 at-bats. That’s tied for second for the longest hitless streak in Oakland history (Jose Canseco had a 40 at-bat dry spell as a rookie in 1986).
In the field:
Who ever thought Crisp would register his first outfield assist of the season before his first hit? The veteran is not known for arm strength, but he retrieved Dustin Pedroia’s hit to left field in the first and threw him out at second to set a good tone for the game.
The A’s strung together standout play after standout play. Vogt made a terrific sliding catch of Blake Swihart’s foul pop. Crisp, after getting turned around, went back and made a great over the shoulder catch to rob Mike Napoli in the second. Sam Fuld made a diving catch. Sogard turned in a couple terrific plays.
Where has this been all season?
A crowd of 24,605 showed up on a chilly night at the Coliseum. Perfect timing for the Sean Doolittle Fleece Blanket giveaway.
The A’s are 1-10 in day games and 1-9 in the final game of a series. Can they halt that trend in Wednesday’s 12:35 matinee? At least they’ve got the right man on the mound in Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.65). He’ll be opposed by lefty Wade Miley (1-4, 6.91).