Oakland A’s closer Grant Balfour set a new franchise record with his 41st consecutive save in the A’s 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, but that was just one of many highlights on the night.
The pitching match up, which pitted All-Stars Bartolo Colon and Jeff Locke against each other, played out in fitting fashion: both starters were dealing, runs came at a premium, and it took some stellar defensive plays by the A’s to nail down the win.
The game was the highly-anticipated Major League debut of A’s infielder Grant Green – and while he ended the night 0-3 with two strike outs, he did make two solid defensive plays and hit a deep fly ball to center field in his first at-bat.
Locke, a crafty left-handed starter, mixed his pitches well for his seven innings, only allowing the A’s three base hits – but his three walks came up large.
In the bottom of the third, Colon put runners on first and second with nobody out. He proceeded to strike out Starling Marte and get Jose T...