Final 9th, Red Sox 11-6: Bobby Valentine didn't have to use Alfredo Aceves but elected to do so anyway. It wasn't a save situation by any means.
For six innings, Clay Buchholz posted his best performance of the young season. It was the 2/3 innings in the seventh that gave him trouble.
But you can't say enough about the job that Mike Aviles and David Ortiz have done as they keyed the offense.
End 8th, Red Sox 11-6: When Dustin Pedroia belted a double, the A's decided to intentionally walk Adrian Gonzalez.
The move made sense since Gonzalez has 16 RBIs and Lars Anderson was heading up. Speaking of Anderson, the Red Sox were fortunate that balls weren't hit to left field with the bases loaded.
It could have made things interesting since Anderson is still learning the position.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 11-6: Wow, the Red Sox bullpen has certainly made things interesting. Everything hasn't been patched up just yet.
Scott Atchison loaded the bases before finally racking up a strikeout. It took Franklin Morales to come in and help to let the Red Sox emerge unscathed.
You have to give props to Dustin Pedroia, who rushed to second and got a 4-3 double play.
End 7th, Red Sox 11-6: For a change, that was a a quick inning for the Athletics' pitching staff.
It's interesting because this is actually a strong offensive output for the Athletics, a team that only scored more than five runs in a game on two occasions entering this game.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 11-6: Clay Buchholz just unraveled there, allowing five earned runs in that inning.
That probably won't help his ERA, which was excessively high entering the game in the first place. If he keeps struggling, you never know, but maybe — maybe — the Red Sox may need to give a look to Aaron Cook for Buchholz's spot.
End 6th, Red Sox 11-1: As I pointed out to my Twitter followers, it looks like all Mike Aviles needed was a chance.
Through 22 games, he's already halfway at his career-high of 10 homers, a mark he set in 2008 as a rookie with the Royals.
That's pretty impressive for a guy who was practicing to be Boston's outfielder.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 11-1: Amid this offensive splurge, you have to give Clay Buchholz credit for bouncing back after a rough start to the season.
Granted, it's against subpar competition, but it's an impressive stretch with five strikeouts and just four hits allowed.
End 5th, Red Sox 11-1: David Ortiz clobbered another homer and took Josh Reddick with him. The outfielder leaped to try to make the catch and fell into the Red Sox bullpen.
It was a funny sequence, with former teammates coming out to help pick up Reddick.
That was Ortiz' 38th career multi-homer game and 36th career one with the Red Sox, moving him into second place all-time in the franchise. He edged Jim Rice (35) and now trails Ted Williams (37).
Lost in all that shuffle was Mike Aviles' three-run bomb.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-1: Look at Mike Aviles hitting them with the glove work. He made a nice snag and chucked it over to Dustin Pedroia with his glove.
Those two are really developing some chemistry there after some early bumps. Before the game, Valentine told us that he couldn't have asked for better defense from the Red Sox so far.
They entered this showdown with just nine errors.
End 4th, Red Sox 6-1: Dustin Pedroia launched a shot that looked like it was destined for a home run, but it fell short of going over the wall.
Heading into this one, Milone had only surrendered six earned runs. He's matched that total already in this one.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 6-1: Cuban phenom Yoenis Cespedes grounded out in his second at-bat against Buchholz.
He's made a smooth adjustment in his first season in the United States after playing eight seasons in Cuba. His teammates were also joking in the clubhouse about teaching him more English.
End 3rd, Red Sox 6-1: After a subpar start to the season, Darnell McDonald has been rolling as of late.
The outfielder ripped a two-run shot right over the Green Monster. That complements the double that he unloaded earlier.
It's his fourth double of the season.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-1: Oakland's base running has been spotty, to say the least.
Coco Crisp got caught in the Athletics' second rundown of the night. While he pulled a nice juke move on the way to first, he still couldn't elude the tag.
Josh Reddick hit into a double play to induce that sequence.
End 2nd, Red Sox 4-1: David Ortiz is in the zone. He crushed a solo homer over the fence and into Oakland's bullpen to spearhead a big inning.
Also, in Marlon Byrd's first at-bat at Fenway Park since Alfredo Aceves plunked him in the face last season, he hit an RBI single. At his introductory news conference, Byrd said he was looking forward to making positive memories after that mishap.
Well, nice start for him. Mike Aviles would go onto to bring Byrd in with an RBI single.
Mid 2nd, Athletics 1-0: Brandon Inge was making his debut for the Athletics with that at-bat.
He was previously with the Tigers, who recently released him. Inge becomes the next in a handful of third basemen in Oakland that are attempting to replace Eric Chavez.
Cliff Pennington managed to get a single to tag Buchholz for a run.
End 1st, 0-0: For those of you wondering why Ryan Sweeney isn't in against his old team, it's because he usually doesn't start against lefties.
Seeing as Athletics pitcher Tommy Milone is a southpaw, Bobby Valentine elected to go with Darnell McDonald.
In that inning, Dustin Pedroia tallied his second stolen base of the season.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox get re-introduced to a familiar face in Josh Reddick.
As you may remember, Reddick was traded to Oakland in exchange for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney back in December.
Reddick managed to draw a rare walk for him there. It was his second base on balls of the season.
6:30 p.m.: Here's tonight's starting lineups.
Mike Aviles, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Cody Ross, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Kelly Shoppach, C
Darnell McDonald, LF
Marlon Byrd, CF
Nick Punto, 3B
Clay Buchholz, P
Jemile Weeks, 2B
Coco Crisp, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, CF
Seth Smith, DH
Kurt Suzuki, C
Daric Barton, 1B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Cliff Pennington, SS
Tommy Milone, P
8 a.m. ET: After a seven-game road trip, the Red Sox (10-11) are returning to Fenway on the brink of a .500 record and are looking to keep up the pace against the Athletics (11-12).
The two clubs made a noteworthy swap on Dec. 28, 2011, when Boston sent Josh Reddick and prospects to Oakland in exchange for closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. Although Bailey has been sidelined with a thumb injury, Sweeney has proven to be a pleasant surprise, hitting 11 doubles in April.
Clay Buchholz, who is 2-1 with a 8.87 ERA this season, will take the mound for the Red Sox and hope to sharpen his changeup. He will go up against lefty Tommy Milone, who is 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA and threw eight shutout innings in his last appearance.
For details and analysis from Fenway, follow NESN.com's live blog. Be sure to tune into NESN for the game. Pregame coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.
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