How rookie Seth Brown fueled A's win over Royals without recording a hit


Just by looking at the box score, you might think Seth Brown had a poor game. The 27-year-old rookie went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts and a double play in his second career major-league contest.

But if you watched the game, you would know how valuable he was. In fact, you could make a strong argument that Brown was the biggest factor in Oakland's 2-1 win over Kansas City.

In the second inning, Brown made an incredible diving catch in the left-center field gap to rob Cheslor Cuthbert of an extra-base hit. Ryan O'Hearn followed with a double, which would have put the Royals on the board. Instead, the A's maintained their 2-0 lead.

"I've played a lot of games in the outfield coming up through the system, so I'm pretty comfortable anywhere in the outfield," Brown told reporters after the game. "I'm just trying to kind of pull my weight out there. That catch -- I got a good jump on it and I was just in the right place at the right time."

Brown has actually spent the majority of this season playing first base, making his outfield prowess even more impressive. And he wasn't finished.

In the third inning, Brown delivered another defensive gem. With runners on first and second and no outs, Whit Merrifield lined a single to left field. The Royals elected to challenge Brown's arm, sending Meibrys Viloria to the plate. Brown uncorked a perfect one-hop throw to catcher Josh Phegley to easily throw out Viloria and again keep Kansas City off the scoreboard.

"When I got the ground ball hit to me, I saw he was going, rounding third, so I knew I had a chance," Brown said. "I just needed to keep it low and try to put it on line. Thankfully, I was able to do that."

Added A's manager Bob Melvin: "Man, we expected him to hit. For a guy who's predominantly played first base to make a diving play like that in a huge outfield and then make a key throw at the plate certainly gives us a little bit more knowledge on him. He's a tough kid. He likes to play. He's not scared of anything."

Those two defensive runs saved ended up being the difference in the game, as the A's held on for a one-run victory. With the win, Oakland moved into the second AL wild-card spot, one game ahead of Tampa Bay.

"It's awesome," Brown said. "On defense, that's what we're supposed to do, so I was just happy that I was able to do it."

In his first two major-league games, Brown has recorded two hits and an RBI, along with those two defensive gems. His family was in attendance both nights.

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"I still got the pregame jitters, but tonight I was able to really kind of focus in and relax and just play the game," Brown said.

The A's certainly hope his stellar play continues.

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