The A’s have struck first for the second straight night. Chris Denorfia’s RBI single off Boston starter Jon Lester in the second inning scored Bobby Crosby for a 1-0 lead.
Crosby got the inning started with a laser double down the left-field line, and his start has been encouraging. With runners in scoring position in the opener, he avoided striking out and got enough wood on a tough pitch from Daisuke Matsuzaka to drive in a run. He also smoked a single against Jonathan Papelbon in a 1oth-inning rally that fell just short. Now this.
Rich Harden’s initial start has been encouraging, too, at least through two innings. Fastball has zip. Breaking ball is sharp. Thing is, can’t get too excited about anything that Harden does, because he’s had periods the past two years when he appears to be cruising. In essence, you hold your breath on every pitch. That’s a hard reality when a guy is making his first start of the season, but only Harden can change that reality.