A's rookie Esteury Ruiz steals 51st base in 6-1 defeat to White Sox

Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox
Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Oakland A's rookie Esteury Ruiz stole his 50th base this season, quickly followed that up with his 51st theft of the campaign, and helped the Athletics score their lone run in the 6-1 defeat suffered at the hands of the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Ruiz led off the 6th inning by hitting a single. He proceeded to steal his 50th base this season on the day he played his 104th game of the 2023 campaign. After that, he stole another bag for the 51 swipe of the year.

The 50th steal meant that Ruiz had joined a one-man club this century. That's now a two-member joint boasting Ruiz and Rajai Davis (2010)as the lone members of the Oakland Athletics organization having 50+ steals in a single season.

Rickey Henderson was the only player before Davis to steal at least 50 bags donning the Green and Gold threads, and he did it for the last time in 1998 when he committed 66 thefts. Before Rickey, you have to go all the way back to 1978 to find someone (Miguel Dilone) stealing 50 bases as a member of the A's.

Ruiz's 51st steal is even more unique. With it, Ruiz is now one of only six players in franchise history to reach that mark in a single season along with Henderson, Don Baylor, Bert Campaneris, Eddie Collins, and Bill North.

The most ridiculous thing about it is that Ruiz has already stolen 51 bags while only playing 104 games. Only Henderson got to that figure (52) by playing fewer games (85) back in 1989. Other than these two, all other members of the 50+ club needed at least 134 games to hit that figure. Crazy!

Back to Sunday's series finale, the A's couldn't do anything on offense to clinch a series win and split their affair with the White Sox in Chicago before flying to Seattle in time to face the Mariners on the road to start the week.

The Sox took an early lead in the first inning, added two more runs in the third, and put up three more once the A's added theirs to the scoreboard in the sixth frame.

Lawrence Butler entered the game from the dugout in replacement of Seth Brown, who got ejected from the matchup along with skipper Mark Kotsay. Butler got himself a hit, his 12th since getting called up and debuting on Aug. 11 (he got his first hit a day later).

Ruiz put up the only other hit by the A's on the day in what was a morning to forget for the offense.

The pitching wasn't much better, mind you, with Paul Blackburn starting on the mound, pitching six full innings, but allowing nine hits and four earned runs while walking a couple of batters. At least he got to strike out six, replicating what he did to the Royals six days before in the A's 6-4 win against KC on Aug. 21.

The A's (38-93) will embark on a three-game series against the AL West leaders, the Mariners (74-56), before returning to the Cavernous Coli to host the Los Angeles Angels on the first day of September after taking Thursday off.

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