One of the A’s trade deadline acquisitions made his impact felt early in Saturday’s game, but it wasn’t Jon Lester or Jonny Gomes, both of whom were making their first starts for the team since being acquired from the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes on Thursday. It was Sam Fuld, who appeared in eight games for the A’s in early April before being placed on waivers and claimed by the Twins on April 20.
Reacquired in the wake of the Lester trade on Thursday for demoted starter Tommy Milone, Fuld started in center field on Friday and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in the A’s 1-0 loss to the Royals, but he announced himself properly on Saturday. Starting in center again in place of Coco Crisp, who is dealing with a degenerative condition in his neck, Fuld threw out the Royals’ Alex Gordon in the top of the fourth inning to complete a spectacular, inning-ending 8-2 double play.
Gordon had led off the inning with a sky-high pop-up behind third base that Josh Donaldson lost in the mid-day sun. The ball dropped, untouched, about a foot fair on the outfield grass behind third as Gordon pulled into second with a double. After catcher Erik Kratz grounded out to second for the first out of the inning, Lorenzo Cain hit a grounder to third that took an odd hop and ate up Donaldson for an error that put runners on the corners. Mike Moustakas then followed by lacing a Lester cutter into center field, but the ball hung up for the charging Fuld, who made the catch and then a diving throw home that reached A’s catcher Derek Norris on the fly a bit up the third base line just as Gordon, who had tagged up, was passing by. In one motion, Norris caught the ball and tagged Gordon in the small of his back for the third out, a result confirmed by replay.