Something was different in the air at the Coliseum Tuesday night.
Cheers and laughter erupted from the stands as the A’s smacked three homers and the Oakland defense made spectacular plays inning after inning. And for the first time since April 28 against the Angels, the A’s delivered a win for home fans, a thorough 9-2 pounding of the Boston Red Sox.
The bats came out hot for the A’s in the bottom of the first against Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson. Shortstop Marcus Semien smacked a triple into deep center before scoring on a Josh Reddick single to to right. Catcher Stephen Vogt finished up by plating Reddick with a two-run homer to right field for the early 3-0 lead.
Oakland’s defense stayed perfectly in line with quick, three-up, three-down outings in the first three innings.
Reddick joked following the defensive victory:
“I think SportsCenter can make the top ten plays on just us tonight. It was pretty amazing to watch. It was something we have been struggling with, defense and making errors- but to have a good, clean game … It was awesome.”
The A’s picked up another run off Masterson (L, 2-2, 6.37 ERA) in the second as second baseman Eric Sogard doubled to deep right, scoring third baseman Brett Lawrie who had previously singled and advanced to second off a ground out from center fielder Sam Fuld.
Reddick homered to right in the third, sending Justin Masterson to the showers after just 2-1/3 innings, six hits and six earned runs and only one strikeout.
Semien flexed some muscle in the fourth, hitting his third home run in three days and his sixth overall, extending the A’s lead to 8-0. Wright would end up finishing the game for the Red Sox allowing six hits and three earned runs over 5-2/3 innings.
Oakland starter Drew Pomeranz (W, 2-3, 4.66 ERA) allowed just one hit until the top of the sixth — thanks to flawless defense behind him —until right fielder Shane Victorino doubled into deep left field. Victorino would score after groundouts from Xander Bogaerts and catcher Blake Swihart.
By the seventh inning, the Sox lineup had warmed up to Pomeranz as Dustin Pedroia — who had singled and advanced to second on a Semien error — scored off a Mike Napoli single to right for the Red Sox’s second and final run.
Pomeranz’s night ended with four hits, two earned runs, and three strikeouts in seven innings pitched before Fernando Rodriguez came in as his relief.
Appearing thoroughly satisfied, manger Bob Melvin expressed his appreciation for his players:
“I had seven marks on my card for defensive plays … I like that. That’s usually a good recipe when your starter goes deep in the game and you’re making those defensive plays.”
Tonight marks Pomeranz’s seventh game in which he has pitched more than six innings in his 47 career starts and the second time this season. He told SFBay that his plan for tonight’s game was to attack early in the count and stay ahead against each batter he faced.
With one more last-minute offensive effort, the A’s scored in the bottom of the eighth when Wright walked left fielder Coco Crisp and advanced to second off a Semien single to left. With yet another hit on the board, Reddick singled to center, scoring Crisp for the final 9-2 Oakland lead.