Athletics

Bolt strikes for first career homer in A's big win over KC

Athletics
Skye Bolt homers

Skye Bolt sent a jolt through the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday.

With the A's leading comfortably against the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the eighth inning, Bolt added some insurance with a solo homer to lead off the frame.

The 410-foot blast was Bolt's first career homer.

The A's would go on to add four more runs in the inning and beat the Royals 11-2 in front of 7,678 fans on a warm day at the ballpark.

Bolt's day was headed in the wrong direction before his homer, as he had struck out in all three of his previous at-bats. But the 27-year-old Atlanta native never got discouraged.

"I've been swinging it pretty well all year down in Triple-A and I get up here and your opportunities come few and far between, and when you're called upon, you gotta go help your teammates," Bolt told NBC Sports California's Dallas Braden after the win. "I knew I had it in there. Just put the foot down, don't let the previous three [at-bats] affect you, just try to get a pitch to hit and put the barrel on it was all I was trying to do. And every once in a while, you get a gust of wind. So, that one went."

Bolt, who was hitting .375 with three homers and 11 RBI in 20 games for Triple-A Las Vegas, admitted the three strikeouts weren't on his mind when he stepped into the batter's box to lead off the eighth.

 

"I was just telling myself to put my foot down and let it eat, man," Bolt told Braden. "I don't want to come off the throttle. That's the last thing you want to do, is get discouraged after three tough ones out the gate. You know, you get punched [out] three times, you take some cuts and you don't even touch it, I ticked one of them, maybe. But it's all systems go. You got a good lead, you're leading off the inning and that guy wants to get ahead, so just cut it loose. Have fun playing."

It's been a rollercoaster year for the 2015 fourth-round draft pick. He was designated for assignment by the A's in April and claimed off waivers by the Giants. A month later, San Francisco traded the North Carolina product back to Oakland for cash considerations.

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While Bolt has put up impressive numbers for Las Vegas this season, he has struggled in his previous trips to the big leagues, collecting just one hit in 16 at-bats over two seasons entering Saturday's game.

But now Bolt has an MLB homer to his name, and this just might be the thing that allows him to settle in and carve out a decent big league career.