Oakland, CA – One catch set the momentum of the game. A strategic, well practiced leap over the wall prevented the Boston Red Sox from scoring their first and only run. Falling 5-0, the Red Sox were shutout by the Oakland A’s.
Top of the first frame Ryan Kalish hit what appeared to be a game opening home run. But center fielder Coco Crisp jumped over the wall extending his hand to grab the ball was definitely worthy of an ESPN Highlight.
“That was one of the best home runs I’ve ever robbed,” Crisp said. “The key is not getting too close to the wall which allows you to jump into it.” “For them not to draw first blood, it makes a huge difference.”
Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz got a rocky start, he gave up a single to Crisp, a walk to Daric Barton, Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run double and scored the final run before the inning ended. By the second frame Barton hit another two-run double to give Oakland the lead 5-0.
“It wasn’t a good night,” manager Terry Francona said. “Buchholz was kinda flat and with four walks he never established a rhythm.” “Coco made a great catch to take a run off the game, we just didn’t have a whole lot going.”
Francona pulled his starting pitcher bottom of the second inning. Buchholz gave up five hits, five runs (all earned), four walks and one strike. His last start he lost 3-1 to the Chicago White Socks giving up 2 runs on six hits, one walk and two strikeouts.
As for the A’s Trevor Cahill, he notched his 14th shutout and advanced to 16-6. He lowered his overall ERA to 2.61 and opposing hitters against him are just .200, which is the lowest among qualifying American League starters. With 20 games left Cahill could still be in the running for the AL Cy Young Award if he wins his remaining four starts.
“This was a hug win for us,” said Cahill. “I think the ball is in our court, I think if we keep winning and doing our job, good things will happen.”
Good things did happened, like Crisp matching his career-high with three stolen bases just as he did June 20, 2004 in Atlanta. He has now converted 19 straight stolen base attempts, the longest streak for an Athletic since Stan Javier stole 28 straight in 1995.
Crisp also got a pre-game “pep” talk from MLB legend Rickey Henderson, who worked with both he and Rajai Davis during Spring Training on base running. Henderson who frequently visits the A’s likes to check in and make sure guys are doing well.
“I just wanted to go out and do something in comparison to one of the greatest athletes of all time,” said explained Crisp.
Written by: Malaika Bobino