Okay so maybe “squeak out” isn’t the proper term to describe this game, the A’s flat out embarrassed the Boston Red Sox tonight. I’m not exactly sure where to start on this one. Tonight the A’s were taking time to honor and celebrate the amazing run in the Little League World Series by the Petaluma National Little League All-Stars, and perhaps those kids brought some good vibes for the A’s. Just about from the get go the A’s hit Aaron Cook hard and put runs on the board, little did anyone know what was in store though. Brandon Moss started off the scoring in the 2nd inning with a solid double to drive in Yoenis Cespedes, and from there the runs came flowing in. An RBI single from Jonny Gomes (probably showing off for his hometown All-Stars), and a 2 run home run off the bat of Josh Donaldson gave the A’s a 4-0 lead. Moss added another double in the 3rd inning to drive in Josh Reddick, and Gomes followed with another RBI single to make it 6-0. That was all the A’s would see of Aaron Cook tonight.
The A’s wouldn’t score in the 4th inning, the only inning besides the 1st they wouldn’t touch home. Brandon Moss continued to punish the team that first gave up on him with a mammoth 2 run homer into the 2nd deck in right field. George Kottaras would get in on the fun with a home run of his own in the 6th inning. At this point the game was 9-1, but the fun was just getting started.
The bottom of the 7th inning was simply something to behold. Josh Reddick led off the inning by popping up to 1st, but that would not close the book on his night. Singles by Cespedes, Moss, and a walk to Jonny Gomes loaded up the bases with the hot hitting Josh Donaldson coming up to bat. Donaldson would hit a grounder that 3B Mauro Gomez would be unable to handle, scoring the run and keeping the bases loaded. George Kottaras came up and drove in 2 with a solid single to right field, Josh Donaldson though would seem to injure himself running from first to third and would leave the game (later revealed to be a hip flexor strain and he is day to day.) Cliff Pennington would narrowly miss his 2nd homer in as many days, but would settle for an RBI double. Coco Crisp would walk, and then after a tough 8 pitch at bat with the bases loaded again Stephen Drew would line a ball the opposite way to score another, at this point the A’s had absolutely blown the game open by a 14-2 margin, and had dropped 5 runs on the Red Sox in the inning. Then the man who was labeled as nothing more than a 4th outfielder, and deemed expendable by the Boston Red Sox Josh Reddick came to the plate with the bases still loaded, and he waited on a 3-2 curveball and deposited it onto the ledge above the scoreboard in right field for his 28th home run of the season in grand slam fashion. The A’s had doubled their runs in the 9 run 7th inning and led 18-2.
Not to be forgotten George Kottaras would connect on his 2nd home run of the night in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the A’s an astounding 20-2 lead, that would be the final result. The bulk of the damage was done by former Red Sox players, safe to say this was a really really bad night for Boston.
Brandon McCarthy started this game by the way, he wasn’t at his best but it was good enough to keep the Red Sox quiet. He lasted 6.1 innings, allowed 8 hits and the 2 ER, he didn’t walk anyone and he struck out 1. When you get support like this you don’t necessarily need to be at your best though.
To say the A’s made a statement tonight would be putting it lightly. The Red Sox are a team that is way down on their luck, and the A’s made them look like it. Everybody else aside from the Rays won today, so this win carried more importance than just style points. The A’s stay put in the 1st wildcard spot, and remain 4 games behind the Texas Rangers. A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.42 ERA) will make his return to the A’s rotation tomorrow evening as the calendar turns to September against Felix Doubront (10-6, 4.79 ERA). With the season entering its final month, the A’s clubhouse will more than likely get a bit more crowded as the rosters expand. Last night our own Devin Pangaro examined who we may expect to see this month come to Oakland. Brandon Inge is also expected to be activated from the DL tomorrow, his return comes just in time if Josh Donaldson has to miss any time with his injury. The A’s can take another series tomorrow with a victory, it is essential that they do not let up one bit against these Red Sox.