Records Entering Series: OAK (19-21, 4th in AL West), BOS (28-12, T-1st in AL East)
It wasn’t the greatest series the Red Sox have ever had, as they disappointingly dropped 2 of 3 at home vs. the Athletics.
Boston’s pitching was less than spectacular for the most part, and their offense missed a few opportunities to drive in some runs in bunches. Oakland was mostly better in all aspects of the game, and got the deserved series win.
Game 1: OAK-6, BOS-5
(Photo credit: ESPN)
Oakland opened the scoring in the 3rd with a solo homer by Joyce, but Boston doubled that with 2 of their own in the bottom half. Betts singled with 2 outs, then stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd on a throwing error. Benintendi drove him in with an infield single and advanced to 2nd on another throwing error. Ramirez brought Benintendi home the next at-bat with a single to make it 2-1.
Oakland retook the lead the next inning with 3 runs coming from a double and a triple. The Red Sox responded with a run in the 5th when Ramirez drove home Leon, who had singled to lead off and moved to 3rd on a Betts double, with a fielder’s choice. The A’s responded with another run in the 6th off of an Olson solo home run, followed by a Devers solo shot in the 7th to bring it back to 1.
The A’s added their 6th and final run in the 8th with yet another solo home run, this one by Davis to make it 6-4. Boston clawed back in the bottom of the 8th, with Martinez hitting a solo shot of his own, but that’s all they could muster, and after a scoreless 9th it ended 6-5 in favor of Oakland.
Rick Porcello had one of his poorer outings, allowing 5 runs from 9 hits over 6 innings. Hembree and Johnson both pitched scoreless innings in relief, and Smith gave up just 1 hit in his inning, but it happened to be home run.
Other notable performances include Betts (2 hits, 1 run), Martinez (2 hits, 1 HR), Ramirez (2 RBI), and Devers (1 HR).
Game 2: OAK-5, BOS-3
(Photo credit: ESPN)
Oakland struck first off of Eduardo Rodriguez with 2 runs in the 1st coming from 2-run double by Chapman, and they added another in the 2nd with a solo home run by Piscotty.
Boston began chipping away at the lead with a run in the 4th when Moreland scored Martinez with a fielder’s choice. They got another one the following inning from a solo home run by Benintendi.
Oakland scored the eventual winning runs in the 8th when Canha doubled home Davis and Chapman. The Red Sox earned a consolation run in the 9th when Betts scores Devers with a groundout, but that was it, and Oakland took game 2.
Rodriguez settled in nicely after allowing 3 runs in the first 2 innings, ending with 5 IP, 6 hits and 4 K’s. Steven Wright had a rough outing in his 1st game back from the DL/suspension, but Poyner and Johnson combined for 1.2 innings of 1-hit ball.
Other notable performances include Benintendi (3 hits), Bogaerts and Moreland (2 hits each).
Game 3: OAK-4, BOS-6
(Photo credit: ESPN)
Boston took the final match of the series thanks to 2 big innings. They opened with 3 in the 1st coming from a Ramirez groundout that scored Betts and a Martinez home run that scored himself and Benintendi.
The 2nd through 4th innings were scoreless, but Oakland tallied 2 in the 5th with a 2-run home run by Semien. Boston then added 3 more of their own in the 6th with a 3-run bomb from Bogaerts.
Solo home runs in the 7th and 9th by the A’s made it interesting, but Boston ultimately took home the 6-4 victory.
Chris Sale earned the win in this one, going 5 innings and allowing 2 runs on 2 hits with 9 K’s and 4 walks. Barnes and Kelly each recorded scoreless innings in relief, while Hembree and Kimbrel both allowed a run in their respective innings.
Betts and Benintendi each had 2 hits while Bogaerts and Martinez combined for 5 RBI to lead the offense.
-After beginning the year as one of the best pitchers in the league, Porcello has had 2 consecutive sub-par outings. 4 home runs in his last 4 games is a bit of concern, but he still looks much better than he did last year.
-Eduardo Rodriguez’s outing was pretty good, all things considered. It took him a bit to settle into the game, but once he found his stuff he looked like the quality pitcher that Boston needs him to be.
-Chris Sale finally got some run support and gained a win in game 3, ironically on one of the lesser performances he’s had. Although there’s absolutely no worries about him, he hasn’t always had his best command this year.
-Continuing with Sale, take a look at this stat below, and remember the plan that he and the coaching staff had laid out back in Spring Training in order to combat his late season fatigue issues.
-Another stat for you, this one about Andrew Benintendi.
-Hopefully that info above is a good omen. Beni has raised his season BA over 20 points in the last 2 weeks.
-Once again, J.D. Martinez is proving his worth. He notched another 4 hits, 2 HR, and 3 RBI in this series.
-The bullpen was inconsistent again in this series. They really need some help at the back end.
-Finally, in his 1st at-bat back since his mother’s funeral, Stephen Piscotty blasted a home run. He was clearly emotional while crossing home plate and received a deserving ovation from the Fenway faithful.