BOSTON — Wade Miley had a disastrous outing for the Red Sox last week, but he climbed back on the horse Friday night.
The left-hander, who allowed six runs in just four innings his last time out, pitched into the eighth against the Oakland A’s, keeping the visiting bats at bay as the Red Sox took the opener of their three-game series 4-2 at Fenway Park.
GAME IN A WORD
The top two batters of the Red Sox’s order, Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt, provided five of the team’s 11 hits in the win.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara again was shaky in the ninth, allowing a single and a double, but got Mark Canha to line out to left field for his 12th save of the season.
ON THE BUMP
— Miley breezed through the first four innings, allowing only one hit and facing the minimum, thanks to a double play in the fourth. He hit a speed bump in the fifth, surrendering three singles and Oakland’s first run of the ballgame, which cut Boston’s lead to 3-1. The only additional run the A’s managed against Miley came in the form of Brett Lawrie’s leadoff home run in the fifth inning.
In all, Miley completed 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits while walking one, hitting a batter and striking out six.
Miley now has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts, the six-run disaster last week in Texas being the only outlier.
— Junichi Tazawa relieved Miley with one out in the eighth and completed the inning without incident.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox immediately jumped on A’s starter Scott Kazmir. Pedroia led off the game with a single and promptly scored on a double into the left field corner by Holt. (Holt didn’t pick up an RBI on the play, as an error by Ben Zobrist allowed Pedroia to come all the way around from first.)
— Boston added another run in the third. Two singles and a fielder’s choice put Rusney Castillo on third base, and the right fielder came home on a sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez.
— Xander Bogaerts doubled and scored in the fourth to make it 3-0 Sox. Mookie Betts laid down a bunt, and third baseman Lawrie’s throw to first sailed high, allowing Bogaerts to come home on Oakland’s third error of the evening.
— In the fifth, Boston struck again. Pedroia led off with a double and came around to score when Holt’s grounder dribbled past Oakland second baseman Eric Sogard and into the outfield grass. Pedroia and Holt formed a dominant 1-2 punch atop the Red Sox’s order, combining to go 5-for-8 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored.
— The Red Sox had the honor of being the first team to face A’s switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, who was called up Friday to make his major league debut. Venditte completed a scoreless seventh inning, throwing seven pitches left-handed (to Holt) and three right-handed (to Ramirez and Mike Napoli).
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Venditte was perfect in the eighth, retiring Bogaerts, Betts and Blake Swihart in order.
TWEET OF THE GAME
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These teams continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon. Right-hander Joe Kelly — who is battling to keep his spot in the rotation — will take the mound for the Red Sox opposite A’s righty Jesse Chavez.
Thumbnail photo via Gregory J. Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images