Stephen Vogt has served as a veteran voice in an Athletics dugout with plenty of youth this season, using his decade of MLB experience to lead by example.
He did just that on Sunday with two key at-bats during the A’s 4-3 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park which proved why Oakland still believes in Stephen Vogt.
“It’s huge when you get an opportunity to play in close games and it’s an opportunity to win,” Vogt told reporters after the game. “And for us to close out two out of three games against the best team in our division, it’s a good feeling and makes these flights home or back to the Bay, wherever guys are going, makes them a lot more fun.”
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Vogt went 1-for-1 at the plate on Sunday with a sacrifice fly and two RBI, helping secure a series win over Houston and Oakland’s second series victory in July. It’s not necessarily a stat line that jumps off the page, but Vogt was all the difference in the close game against the first-place Astros.
A’s manager Mark Kotsay called on his veteran backup catcher to pinch-hit for Dermis Garcia in the sixth inning as they trailed the Astros 3-2. His sac fly to left scored Seth Brown and tied the game at three apiece following a Ramón Laureano homer and RBI double by Chad Pinder.
Vogt entered the game with a .137 batting average on the season and said his success on Sunday off the bench was thanks to diligence in the cage this past week. He was feeling confident as he came up to bat in a big situation for the A’s, with runners on first and second and down by one.
“Two big at-bats from Stephen, sac fly there to tie the game,” Kotsay told reporters after the win. “Before he went up with second and third, he told me he was going to drive them both in. But I guess he didn’t realize that ‘both’ meant the winning run later in the game.”
Vogt gave the A’s the lead shortly after on an RBI single in the eighth that saw him turn on a 97-mph fastball from Rafael Montero, and that was all Oakland needed for Lou Trevino to secure the save in the ninth.
Adam Oller got the start after being recalled from Triple-A on Sunday but didn't factor into the decision, giving up three earned runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Oakland heads into the All-Star break with a 32-61 record after finishing the month of July 7-8.
After applauding his team for their efforts this month, Vogt said he was “thankful” he could come through for them on Sunday.
“It’s really all I want to do every single day is help win,” he said.