A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie called the Oakland sun the toughest in baseball after he and third baseman Josh Donaldson could not see a high pop fly that dropped in for a run-scoring error. St. Louis second baseman Matt Carpenter also missed a popup. Ironically it was A’s second baseman Eric Sogard (left in photo) who seemed least effected despite wearing only traditional glasses in making two seventh inning catches to beat the Cards.
All three players who were victimized by the sun on pop-ups–Lowrie, Donaldson and Carpenter–were coincidentally the three players who homered Sunday.
With his blog named after his traditional glasses, it is surprising that Sogard (left in photo) was able to track down two seventh inning flies that saved the game for the A’s. The Cards’ killer top four batters in the line-up went seven for 18 Sunday to all say well above the .300 mark for the year, but were denied in the seventh inning when Sogard’s catches stranded Carpenter at second base en route to a 7-5 win.
It appeared the game would be tied when Yadier Molina hit a sky-high fly to right field, but Sogard broke before the sound of the bat on a 45-degree angle toward the right field corner. Despite having to stare straight up into the sun, and caught a backhand running full speed.
Carlos Beltran then hit a sky-high pop to shallow right, and Sogard tracked it in again for the second out. Third baseman Josh Donaldson then made a diving stop to his left and got up to fire to first to rob Allen Craig and save Sean Doolittle a scoreless inning.
Donaldson then drove a pitch over the right centerfield fence in the bottom of the inning to provide the final 7-5 margin.
The powerful Cardinals have scored more than 100 runs more than their opponents.