Opposing teams are going to have to stop running on Ramón Laureano


Athletics outfielder Ramón Laureano was a human highlight reel in 2018. He showed off his ridiculous arm most famously when he turned this incredible double play on the Angels last year:

The Red Sox, apparently, did not get the memo about Laureano’s arm. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts tested him twice during this week’s four-game series in Oakland, getting nailed both times. Reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts was also victimized by Laureano’s cannon.

In the top of the second inning of the first game of the series, Bogaerts following a Mitch Moreland single to center field. Though Laureano couldn’t get his momentum carrying him towards home plate, Laureano’s throw still hit catcher Nick Hundley on the fly to get the out.

In the ninth inning of the second game, Bogaerts hit a fly ball to deep center field. The ball bounced high off the wall back towards the field. Laureano gave chase, picked up the ball and uncorked a perfect one-hop throw to Matt Chapman at first base for the second out of the inning. The score was 1-0, so Bogaerts could have represented the tying run on third base.

Even after two examples in front of their very own eyes, the Red Sox still did not learn their lesson. On Thursday, with the A’s leading 7-3 in the top of the ninth inning of the series finale, Mookie Betts stood on first base after a walk. Andrew Benintendi then blooped a single to shallow center field. Betts tried to go first-to-third on the play, which turned out to be a poor decision. Laureano corralled the ball and threw off-balance to nail Betts at third base. Chapman had a terrific scoop and tag to aid Laureano’s effort.

The A’s won, 7-3, taking three of four games in the series against the Red Sox. Laureano, by the way, homered twice and knocked in three runs in the series. He had been batting a miserable .150 with no extra-base hits in 20 at-bats prior to the series.

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.