MILWAUKEE — If you’re standing near Paul Molitor, watch your wallet. Or you girl. Or in the case of the Oakland A’s, the game and their hearts.
Molly is a nimble thief and he proved it in the Crew’s 7-4 win. Molitor became the first player in the American League to steal three bases in the same inning since 1974.
In the first inning, Molly led of with a single, swiped second, got a huge lead and stole third and then home on the front end of a double steal with Robin Yount stealing second.
A’s pitcher Dennis Lamp had no idea what had hit him. Molly was ho-hum about his historic heists.
“I was reading Dennis pretty well,” Molitor told the Milwaukee Sentinel. “Stealing second base wasn’t that big a deal. I got a good jump.
“He had a tendency with runners on second base to ‘one-look’ us. He was glancing once at second base, then going to the plate. You could get an outstanding jump on him.”
Molitor’s larceny wasn’t planned, but it jump started the Crew offense.
“We had no intention of pulling off a double steal,” Molitor told the Sentinel. “Usually you do that with two out. But [catcher Terry Steinbach] didn’t give me a look. I just took off.”
And with Molitor back in the lineup, so have the Brewers. The Brewers went 7-4 on the homestand and Molly can’t make an out. He’s 20 for 42 (.452) in his last 10 games and has hit safely in all of them.
“I’ve just been trying to stay in a groove,” Molitor told the Sentinel. “I’ve taken a lot of extra batting practice. You know it’s not going to last, but you want to keep it up as long as possible.”
And you wondered why we mentioned your girl in the lede.
Anyway, the Crew bolted to a 7-0 lead through six innings and Teddy Higuera held the powerful A’s to four hits through seven. But Higuera gave up four in the eighth and got the heave-ho from the home plate ump when he argued about what he thought was a missed third-strike call. Still, Teddy notched his fifth straight win and the Brewers look as if they know how to once again play this game.