OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Marcus Semien didn’t have much time to think after making a diving stop on Salvador Perez’s sharp grounder in the eighth inning. With Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield off third base and breaking for home, the Oakland shortstop had no one choice but to throw to the plate.
It worked out perfectly for both Semien and the A’s.
Matt Chapman homered leading off the bottom of the eighth, moments after Semien’s defensive gem cut down the go-ahead run, and the A’s beat the Royals 3-2 on Sunday.
“Just reaction,” Semien said. “I had a tough grip. I had my whole palm on the ball so I just tried to throw it as hard as I could from there. Merrifield’s pretty quick so you got to get the transfer and the throw there as quick as you can. That was good.”
Oakland manager Bob Melvin called it one of the best plays of Semien’s career. Closer Blake Treinen, who was on the mound and had a perfect view, termed it ‘incredible.’