OAKLAND -- Xander Bogaerts is going to see Ramón Laureano in his nightmares.
For the second straight night, the A's center fielder made an absolutely jaw-dropping throw, this time nailing Bogaerts at third base with a one-run lead in the ninth inning.
"I'm like, there's no way he'll do that again," said a stunned Bogaerts after the game. "The next time, I won't run."
That's probably a good idea. Laureano has already recorded 11 outfield assists in just 56 career games, the most in all of baseball during that span.
"I've thrown balls every day since I was eight years old," Laureano smiled. "I don't even know how to explain it. I just throw it."
"I'm never betting against Ramón's arm," added Matt Chapman, who made the tag at third base. "He just seems to make incredible throw after incredible throw and they're all on the money. He never ceases to amaze me."
This one may have been the most incredible of all. With the A's clinging to a 1-0 lead with one out in the ninth inning, Bogaerts squared up a Blake Treinen delivery and rocketed it off the wall in right-center field. Laureano chased it down, and with a release time of 0.6 seconds, hurled a perfect one-hopper to Chapman to cut down the tying run.
"To me, just as impressive as the throw was how quickly he got to it and got rid of it," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Once it hits off the wall, you've got a really fast runner in Bogaerts. It kicks back toward the infield and he has to be on it that quickly. All things came together probably like nobody else could do."
Added Laureano: "He hit it pretty hard. The wall got to me pretty quick. I knew I didn't have that ball at the end. Then I was just trying to balance myself against the wall and try to find the ball. Good thing it didn't go that far. I just grabbed it and threw it."
Laureano also credited Chapman on the play for blocking third base and swiping a quick, decisive tag on Bogaerts.
"He did a tremendous job," Laureano said. "Not a lot of third basemen do that stuff and that's why he's a Platinum and Gold Glove winner."
Added Chapman: "That was the only way we were going to be able to get him, and I know Ramón's arm doesn't need a cut-off."
No, it certainly does not. Sooner or later, teams will learn to stop running on Laureano. Bogaerts appears to have learned his lesson. But for now, the A's hope their opponents keep challenging the young outfielder.
"We've seen three throws from him that I don't know if anybody in the league makes," Melvin said. "Given the situation, that's probably the best throw we've seen him make, even better than the one in Anaheim that he made last year."
Asked to rank his throws, Laureano thought for a second and smiled.
"If we're winning, they all count. I'm good with that."