Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox Continue Series

Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox Continue Series

The Boston Red Sox will look to retain their top hitters as they continue their three-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

In a 12-9 victory Tuesday in the series opener, Boston finished with 13 hits and scored 11 runs in the first two innings. The 12-run outburst was punctuated by back-to-back home runs by Wilyer Abreu and Dominic Smith in an eight-run second inning.

Boston has won seven of its last eight games.

Athletics vs. Red Sox Preview

“We talked about greed a couple weeks ago. We saw a window, but I think the window is getting bigger. It’s actually a door, and we can actually get there,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We’re going to keep looking up there and keep playing good baseball, and see where it takes us.”

It was a busy day for the entire Red Sox lineup, thanks in part to Brayan Bello, who struck out a record 11 batters.

Ceddanne Rafaela hit a triple on a hit-packed night to extend his rookie RBI total to 51.

“I don’t see any reason to feel pressured,” Rafaela said last weekend.

Red Sox right-handed pitcher Nick Pivetta (4-5, 4.06 ERA) will look to continue his success on Wednesday against Oakland.

After pitching five shutout innings in a 1-0 victory on April 3 at Oakland, Pivetta is 6-0 with an 0.71 ERA in six appearances (four starts) in the head-to-head series. He has 44 strikeouts in 38 career innings.

Pivetta is coming off a masterful outing last Thursday in Miami, striking out 10 in seven innings of one-hit ball. He played no part in the decision in a 6-5, 12-inning victory by Boston.

The Independence Day start marked Pivetta’s second season with double-digit strikeouts, ending a streak of consecutive games in which he went five innings without a hit.

Cora said “pounding the strike zone” was the key to that start for Pivetta, who lost a no-hit bid two outs into his final frame.

The Athletics had won four of five to start July before suffering their second straight loss in the series opener. But Oakland posted a 13-hit effort on Tuesday, including three-run homers by Lawrence Butler and Zack Gelof.

Butler has hit three home runs in his last seven games, after starting the season with just two home runs.

“He got to the point where the focus wasn’t just on hitting the ball where it was thrown, but more on trying to do damage,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said last week. “That’s what we’re working on. He’s a complete hitter, using the other side of the field like he did in spring training. You see the results, and that’s the potential.”

Left-hander JP Sears (5-7, 4.74 ERA), who starts for Oakland on Wednesday, is coming off five shutout innings in a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. It was his first win since May 25 and he has a personal best of five wins this season.

“It’s contagious; you just want to do what the guy before you did,” Sears said of his latest effort, which helped Oakland beat the Angels.

Sears recorded a no-decision in his only career meeting with the Red Sox, allowing one run on two hits in five innings on July 9, 2023.

–Field level media

Upcoming Schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Tuesday July 9 – Thursday July 11 – @Boston Red Sox
  • Friday July 12 – Sunday July 14 – @Philadelphia Phillies
  • Monday July 15 – Thursday July 18MLB All-Star Break
  • Monday July 15 – Home Run Derby
  • Tuesday July 16 – MLB All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas
  • Friday July 19 – Sunday July 21 – against Los Angeles Angels

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