Matt Shoemaker held the Boston Red Sox hitless through nearly seven innings Thursday night in the series finale, and the Halos’ offense strung together just enough to get him the2-0 win and the sweep at Fenway Park.
"I didn’t even really know or even think about (a no-hitter) until the fifth or sixth," Shoemaker said. "It’s like one of those things you don’t even know or think about it until it’s like, ‘Ok, who’s coming up?’ And you realize where you’re at in the order and I go, ‘Man, alright. Let’s just make pitches. Take that out of my head and just go pitch.’"
His catcher, Chris Iannetta, knew immediately.
"From the third, I was looking at the scoreboard," Iannetta said. "I don’t pull any punches, I pretty much know what’s going on."
Stud of the game: Shoemaker (12-4) earned his third-straight victory in an exceptionally efficient performance, throwing 116 pitches, walking one, hitting one and striking out nine in eight and 2/3 innings.
"In one word: Sensational," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don’t know if Shoe has put pitches together like that. He’s having a great year for us, but he was locked in today. Just a great mixture of changing speeds. Chris was right on the same page with him. He worked both sides of the plate and definitely the depth of the zone changing speeds.
"Up until game time it was really heavy on my mind," he said. "During the game I was just trying to focus on pitching, because that’s what G does. It’s a detrimental loss to us but we’re all going to fight hard to pick him up and we’re just going to get stronger from it, I really think so."
"He’s the epitome of what we preach in the sense that whatever pitcher is called on in that instance, he’ll do whatever he can to execute," Iannetta said. "Don’t focus on anything else, just executing that individual pitch."
Dud of the game: Yoenis Cespedes left the game after taking his second at-bat in the fourth inning to attend to an undisclosed personal matter. Will Middlebrooks took his place in the lineup and promptly connecting with a splitter left middle-in, sending it down the left field line for a double, effectively breaking up the no-hitter.
Key moments: Scioscia and Albert Pujols were both ejected from the game by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher in the sixth inning. Pujols allegedly made a remark to Fletcher while all the way into the dugout by the bat racks and Scioscia felt his first baseman was targeted.
"I just said that was a terrible pitch. That was it," Pujols said. "I didn’t say anything to him back from the dugout, I said to him during the at-bat, ‘Man, come on, that pitch is up and in.’ That was it."
Pujols wasn’t even aware he had been tossed. While Scioscia was arguing with Fletcher, Pujols went about his usual business until Mike Trout informed him that he had been thrown out.
The once-formidable A’s and their loaded pitching staff now look vulnerable after losing six of their last seven. Only two games behind the Angels in the AL West standings, the rivalry will undoubtedly heat up.