Esteury Ruiz creates chaos on basepaths in Athletics' loss to Astros

A's rookie phenom Ruiz creates chaos on basepaths vs. Astros originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Esteury Ruiz continues to be the Athletics’ brightest spot in an otherwise dull season.

Ruiz collected two hits Saturday in the A’s 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros to extend his hitting streak to five games. He’s notched multiple hits in his last four contests to raise his batting average to .286, trailing only Brent Rooker (.292) for the team lead.

The rookie also swiped two bases at Minute Maid Park on Saturday to boost his total to 23 on the season, five ahead of Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. in second place (18). No other player has more than 14 stolen bases this season.

His chaos on the basepaths was on full display in the sixth inning in Houston. Ruiz led off the inning with a single to right field. He then stole second base, and when Astros catcher Martin Maldonado’s wild throw bounced into left field, Ruiz took third.

Fellow A’s rookie Ryan Noda brought him home with a sacrifice fly to even the score 2-2.

Ruiz did the same thing again two innings later in the eighth by knocking a single off Astros reliever Hector Neris. He then stole second base and advanced to third on another errant throw by Maldonado. Only this time, Noda couldn’t bring him home. He struck out on four pitches, and Rooker flew out to end the threat.

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But once again, that threat began with Ruiz’s speed.

Ruiz, acquired by the A’s in the three-team trade headlined by catcher Sean Murphy, owns a .286/.350/.378 slash line through 47 games this season. He became the first A’s player since Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson in 1992 to reach 20 stolen bases in 44 games played.

With the combination of blinding speed and impressive bat-to-ball skills, Ruiz looks to be a main key for the A's lineup for years to come.