OAKLAND – The A’s clubhouse stereo hadn’t cranked out much in the way of postgame tunes lately.
The music only plays after a win, so the silence spoke volumes over the A’s six-game losing streak. The noise was back Tuesday night after they dispatched of the Boston Red Sox 9-2 to win for the first time in exactly a week.
“We’ve needed a game like this for a while,” shortstop Marcus Semien said.
There was a sense of relief, but not satisfaction. And even though the clubhouse music was playing, it wasn’t blaring as it sometimes does. Perhaps that was intentional.
Based on how this season has played out, the A’s (13-22) know better than to make too much of one victory. The season is approaching the quarter pole, and just once have they posted back-to-back victories.
“Now the trick is to get a couple in a row,” manager Bob Melvin said. “(Then) you start feeling good about yourself and the confidence comes out and the talent level that we have (comes out). But we have to put it together. We haven’t been very good about that this year.”
[INSTANT REPLAY: A's snap skid thanks to Pomeranz, offense]
But there was a lot that Melvin liked from Tuesday, starting with all the marks he made on his scorecard that represented great plays by his defense. He said he counted seven of them, and they were spread around the diamond.
Catcher Stephen Vogt made two noteworthy plays. Eric Sogard made a running over-the-shoulder catch on a fly in shallow center, then another nice play on a grounder up the middle. Sam Fuld made a diving catch in center.
Coco Crisp, mired in an 0-for-25 slump to start his season, made two great plays in left field. He made an acrobatic catch on the warning track after getting turned around on Mike Napoli’s fly. But what had his starting pitcher talking was the throw he made to nail Dustin Pedroia at second on a would-be double in the first.
Opponents usually take it for granted they can run on Crisp’s subpar arm. Then once in a great while he comes up with a play like Tuesday’s to burn an opponent for being a little too aggressive.
“I think we pretty much got all the top 10 covered as far as plays on SportsCenter,” winning pitcher Drew Pomeranz said. “Coco’s throwing guys out. It’s pretty crazy. He usually says he has one of those in him a year, so I hope he has more than that.”
If the great defense was a surprise from a team that’s committed a major league-worst 35 errors, Pomeranz’s sharp seven-inning outing was also welcome. Just once in his first six starts this season had he lasted past six innings. Melvin pointed to Pomeranz’s improved ball/strike ratio Tuesday, his ability to spot his fastball to both sides of the plate and throwing his curve for strikes.
Pomeranz also said he’s trying to keep it in mind to work faster.
“Sometimes the confidence goes the other way and he starts taking a little more time and it snowballs on him,” Melvin said. “But today he was trying to pick up the pace and throw the ball over the middle of the plate -- let his stuff work, and as the game went on you could see his confidence grow and grow.”
Two of the guys providing the offensive punch hardly were a surprise. Vogt added to his American League-leading RBI total (30) with a two-run homer in the first. Josh Reddick went 4-for-5 and blasted a homer to right as part of his three-RBI night. With 25 RBI, he’s not far behind Vogt, and he said he’s trying to coax Vogt into a friendly competition for the team homer and RBI leads. He’s three homers behind Vogt with six.
Reddick, hitting .346, was asked if any other streaks in his career compare to the zone he’s in right now.
“This is probably the best I've swung the bat for the longest period of time ever in my life in professional baseball,” Reddick said. “… All this consistency, driving the ball and getting my average up is something I wanted to focus on this year and it's all coming together for me right now.”
He’s been able to sustain some success at the plate. Now his team would like to do the same on the scoreboard.