Final, Athletics 4-3: Sean Doolittle had no problem closing out the Red Sox in the ninth inning. The A’s have made it two straight to begin the four-game series.
Coco Crisp’s RBI single off Andrew Miller in the eighth inning was the difference. Miller got himself into trouble by hitting two batters, and Crisp responded by lining a two-out base hit into right field.
The Red Sox trailed 3-0 after the first inning Friday, as Josh Donaldson launched a three-run blast off Felix Doubront in the opening frame. Jackie Bradley Jr. knocked in two runs in the second inning after Nick Punto’s costly error, and David Ortiz tied the game in the third inning with an RBI single past the shift.
Things remained tied until the eighth inning despite both teams having opportunities. The Red Sox went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
Doubront didn’t allow any more runs after Donaldson’s first-inning homer, but the left-hander never found much of a rhythm. He allowed three runs on two hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. Doubront struck out four and threw 90 pitches (49 strikes) in his first start off the disabled list.
Rubby De La Rosa will take the ball for Boston in Saturday’s contest, which is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET.
End 8th, Athletics 4-3: Andrew Miller has had some tough moments this season. He added one more in the eighth inning.
Miller hit two batters and surrendered a two-out RBI single to Coco Crisp before John Farrell turned to Junichi Tazawa.
Miller struck out Brandon Moss to begin the inning. He then hit Kyle Blanks and Alberto Callaspo — both on the foot.
Miller was on the verge of escaping the inning after striking out Nick Punto looking for the second out. But Crisp lined a 2-2 fastball into right field, and Brock Holt couldn’t get enough on his throw home.
Tazawa closed off the inning, but the damage was done. The A’s are three outs away from their second straight win over the Sox.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts are due up for Boston in the ninth inning. They’ll face A’s closer Sean Doolittle.
Mid 8th, 3-3: The Red Sox had a favorable matchup in the eighth inning.
Fernando Abad plunked A.J. Pierzynski with his first pitch. That set up a battle between the lefty and Jonny Gomes, who, of course, has had much more success against lefties than righties.
Gomes, who has put up a couple of nice at-bats in this game, grounded to third base. Josh Donaldson started a 5-4-3 double play that changed the complexion of the inning.
Stephen Drew struck out swinging to end the inning.
Andrew Miller will come back out to begin the bottom of the eighth.
End 7th, 3-3: Burke Badenhop’s scoreless streak was in jeopardy in the seventh inning, but Andrew Miller saved the day.
Badenhop struck out Coco Crisp to begin the bottom of the seventh. Crisp had pinch-hit for Craig Gentry.
Badenhop then surrendered back-to-back singles to Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes before nearly escaping the inning via a double play. Josh Donaldson hit a bouncer to second base, where Dustin Pedroia looked to start up the double play. The ball simply wasn’t hit hard enough, though, and Donaldson managed to beat out Stephen Drew’s throw to first base.
Miller replaced Badenhop with runners at the corners. Donaldson swiped second base to put two men in scoring position for Stephen Vogt. Vogt, who entered the game for the injured Derek Norris in the sixth inning, worked the count full but lined out to left fielder Jonny Gomes to end the threat.
Mid 7th, 3-3: Ryan Cook came back out and spun a second scoreless inning.
Cook retired the heart of the Red Sox’s order — Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli — without any issues. Pedroia struck out, Ortiz flied out and Napoli grounded out.
A’s catcher Derek Norris, who took a ball off the left hand in the sixth inning, was replaced by Stephen Vogt in the seventh.
End 6th, 3-3: Burke Badenhop worked around a one-out, infield single to pitch another scoreless inning in the sixth.
Badenhop now has not allowed an earned run in his last 31 2/3 innings. It’s the third-longest streak in Red Sox history — trailing only Koji Uehara (33 2/3 innings in 2013) and Dick Radatz (33 innings in 1963).
The highlight of the sixth inning was provided by Brock Holt — of course, right? Alberto Callaspo hit a line drive to right field that Holt laid out to grab.
Mid 6th, 3-3: Ryan Cook worked a scoreless sixth inning for Oakland.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts both struck out swinging in the frame. Brock Holt grounded to first base.
A’s catcher Derek Norris was a bit shaken up in the sixth inning after taking a ball off the left hand. He stayed in the game like a trooper, though.
End 5th, 3-3: Felix Doubront couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning.
Red Sox manager John Farrell turned to his bullpen and called upon Burke Badenhop in the fifth after Doubront issued a two-out walk to Josh Donaldson.
Badenhop retired Derek Norris on a line drive to Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts made a couple of sweet defensive plays in the inning.
Doubront allowed three earned runs on two hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out four and threw 90 pitches (49 strikes).
All three runs scored against Doubront came on Donaldson’s three-run homer in the first inning.
Mid 5th, 3-3: The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz led off with back-to-back singles. Pedroia probably could have taken third base on Ortiz’s base hit into left field — no one was covering the bag — but he didn’t realize it until after the fact. Pedroia could be seen saying, “My bad,” to third base coach Brian Butterfield.
Pedroia’s missed opportunity didn’t matter. Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski struck out swinging, and Stephen Drew grounded to short with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Jonny Gomes, who now has seen 23 pitches in three plate appearances, worked a seven-pitch walk to pack the bags for Drew. Drew swung at the first pitch.
End 4th, 3-3: It’s been a grind for both starters, though Brad Mills’ night is done after four innings.
Felix Doubront kept the game tied at three apiece in the fourth despite Oakland putting two men on base with two outs.
Doubront got Brandon Moss to pop to third base. He then struck out Kyle Blanks. Alberto Callaspo hit a ground ball to third base that looked like the final out, but Xander Bogaerts couldn’t corral it. Callaspo reached on the error.
Doubront walked Nick Punto, moving Callaspo into scoring position. Craig Gentry lifted a fly ball to left field to end the inning.
Jim Johnson, whom the A’s acquired from the Baltimore Orioles over the offseason to become their closer, will take over in the fifth inning. Mills threw 94 pitches in his four innings of work.
Mid 4th, 3-3: The fourth inning was a struggle for Brad Mills, but the Red Sox couldn’t capitalize on the lefty’s struggles.
Jonny Gomes opened the inning with a 12-pitch battle. It ended with Gomes flying out to right field.
Mills ran into trouble with two outs. He walked Jackie Bradley Jr., after which he paid a lot of attention to Bradley at first base. Mills made five pickoff throws before hitting Brock Holt with a pitch.
Xander Bogaerts couldn’t do any two-out damage. He grounded to third base to end the inning.
Mills has thrown 94 pitches through four innings.
End 3rd, 3-3: Felix Doubront managed to keep the A’s off the scoreboard in the third inning despite putting two men on base.
Doubront struck Craig Gentry on the foot with a pitch to begin the bottom of the third inning. There was some debate as to whether the ball actually hit Gentry, but he was awarded first base after a brief discussion.
Gentry, who made an excellent defensive play in the top half of the frame, swiped second base with one out. He now has 13 thefts this season.
Yoenis Cespedes walked on four pitches, but Doubront maneuvered his way out of trouble by retiring Josh Donaldson and Derek Norris. Donaldson flied out and Norris struck out swinging.
Doubront still doesn’t look too comfortable in this one.
Mid 3rd, 3-3: The Red Sox’s offense finally has reached the three-run mark.
David Ortiz beat the shift in the third inning for an RBI single. Xander Bogaerts, who led off the inning with a walk, scored from second base.
Josh Donaldson made a nice barehanded play on Dustin Pedroia’s chopper to third base before Ortiz came through. Mike Napoli singled to keep the pressure on, but A.J. Pierzynski grounded into a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
The Red Sox entered the game having scored two runs or fewer in each of their last six games. Boston last scored more than two runs during last Friday’s 10-run explosion against the Cleveland Indians.
End 2nd, Athletics 3-2: Felix Doubront settled down in the second inning after a very shaky first inning.
Doubront retired the side in order. Kyle Blanks, Alberto Callaspo and Nick Punto went down without a fight.
Blanks and Punto flied out to center field and right field, respectively. Callaspo lined to second base.
Mid 2nd, Athletics 3-2: A costly error by Nick Punto opened the door for two runs in the top of the second inning.
Mike Napoli led off with a single. A’s starter Brad Mills struck out A.J. Pierzynski before having a hard time finding the strike zone.
Mills missed with seven straight pitches en route to walking Jonny Gomes and falling behind Stephen Drew 3-0. Drew ended up rolling over a 3-1 pitch to Punto, who immediately looked to turn a double play. Punto’s backhanded flip to second base was incredibly ugly and everyone reached their intended destination.
Jackie Bradley Jr. cashed in with a two-run single into center field.
Brock Holt threatened to do more damage with a line drive into center, but Craig Gentry laid out to make a fantastic play. Drew, thinking the ball was going to drop, vacated second base, so the A’s were able to easily double him up to end the inning.
End 1st, Athletics 3-0: Felix Doubront’s return is not going well.
Doubront, who is making his first start since May 20, surrendered a three-run homer to Josh Donaldson in the first inning. The left-hander’s fastball velocity sat at around 87 to 90 mph, and he threw 28 pitches before finally retiring the side.
Craig Gentry led off with a single into center field. Doubront walked Yoenis Cespedes after Jed Lowrie grounded into a forceout, paving the way for Donaldson’s three-run blast, which cleared the left field wall in a hurry.
Doubront handled Derek Norris and Brandon Moss to end the inning. Moss struck out looking on a curveball on the outside corner.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Brad Mills overcame a two-out walk to strike out the side in his first major league inning since 2012.
Mills started his outing by striking out Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts. Holt looked at a big, looping curveball on the outside corner, and Bogaerts went down swinging on the second of back-to-back changeups.
Mills walked Dustin Pedroia with two down but rebounded to strike out David Ortiz. Ortiz, like Holt, went down looking at a hook.
10:08 p.m.: Brock Holt takes a pitch inside. The Sox and A’s have gotten things underway in Oakland.
9:15 p.m.: David Ortiz returns to the starting lineup.
Ortiz was held out of Thursday’s starting lineup as part of a routine off day before pinch-hitting later in the contest. A.J. Pierzynski served as the designated hitter in Ortiz’s absence but will return to catching Friday.
Ortiz was scolded Friday in a statement released by Major League Baseball executive vice president Joe Torre. Torre expressed disapproval of Ortiz’s criticism toward Fenway Park official scorer Bob Ellis after the slugger wasn’t credited with a hit in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Ortiz declined to comment on Torre’s statement before Friday’s game in Oakland, according to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.
Jonny Gomes will start in left field again with a left-hander on the hill. Brock Holt will man right field and bat atop the order.
Friday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (34-39)
Brock Holt, RF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jackie Bradley, CF
Felix Doubront, LHP (2-4, 5.12 ERA)
Oakland Athletics (45-28)
Craig Gentry, CF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Derek Norris, C
Brandon Moss, RF
Kyle Blanks, 1B
Alberto Callaspo, DH
Nick Punto, 2B
Brad Mills, LHP (0-0, — )
9 p.m. ET: Who’s ready to stay up late again?
The Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics will play the second game of their four-game series Friday, with Felix Doubront and Brad Mills set to square off in a contest scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET. The Red Sox started their West Coast swing on a negative note Thursday — dropping the series opener 4-2 — but will look to rebound against Mills, who is making his first big league start since 2012.
Doubront is making his first start since May 20. The 26-year-old was placed on the disabled list on May 21 with a left shoulder strain he suffered while bumping into a car door before his May 20 start. The left-hander has made three rehab starts and now rejoins the Red Sox with Brandon Workman serving his six-game suspension for throwing behind Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
The Red Sox’s offense has been struggling mightily of late. Toss on a pot of coffee, turn on NESN and follow along with NESN.com’s live blog to see whether the unit can break out Friday.
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