There are plenty of things the Boston Red Sox cannot stop doing amid their dominant start to the season, with blasting home runs and winning ballgames being chief among them.
That was on full display in Oakland on Friday night, as the Sox dispatched the Athletics 7-3 to claim the opener of their three-game set at Oakland Alameda Coliseum.
All of Boston’s runs came on home runs, with Jackie Bradley Jr. smacking a three-run homer and Mitch Moreland sending a grand slam into orbit. Meanwhile, Drew Pomeranz allowed three runs over 3 2/3 innings in his first start of 2018.
With the win, the Red Sox climb to 17-2 and extend their current winning streak to eight games, while the A’s fall to 9-11.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
After scoring 27 runs in three games against the Los Angeles Angels, the Red Sox’s bats continued providing some pop in Oakland.
ON THE BUMP
— Pomeranz’s night got off to a tough start, as the southpaw surrendered three runs on as many hits in a 45-pitch first inning.
Stephen Piscotty walked in the second at-bat of the frame and was driven one hitter later on a Jed Lowrie double to the right field fence.
With one out, Pomeranz struck out the next two hitters, but on the latter catcher Christian Vazquez misplayed the breaking ball in the dirt, allowing Matt Chapman to get to first as the wild pitch went to the backstop. With runners on the corners, Matt Olson and Mark Canha singled in back-to-back AB’s to plate two more runs. Pomeranz then fanned Chad Pinder to end the frame.
The lefty got back into some trouble the next inning, allowing runners to get on first and second before he escaped unscathed. Pomeranz bounced back in the third, striking out the side 1-2-3. After allowing a leadoff double in the fourth before retiring the next two batters, he was pulled.
All said, Pomeranz allowed three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and a pair of walks over 3 2/3 innings. He threw 88 pitches.
— Hector Velazquez came in and pitched three innings of scoreless relief, allowing four hits while striking out one.
The righty allowed Lowrie and Khris Davis to reach base in the seventh before getting pulled with two outs.
— Brian Johnson came in for Velazquez and allowed Olson to single and load the bases in the lone batter he faced.
— Matt Barnes came in and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Joyce to end the seventh before retiring the side in order in the eighth.
— Joe Kelly pitched a scoreless, hitless ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Down 3-0 in the second inning, Bradley Jr. came up clutch. Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez reached on one-out singles and were then driven in on the center fielder’s three-run homer to tie the game.
— With the game still knotted at three in the sixth, Moreland gave Boston the advantage in a huge way. Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez all singled to start the inning, loading the bases. Oakland went to the bullpen and summoned Emilio Pagan, and on his first offering to Moreland, the first baseman put it in the right-center field bleachers, making it 7-3 on the Sox’s fifth grand slam of the season.
— Nunez had a trio of hits, while Ramirez had a pair.
— Betts, Benintendi, Moreland, Devers, Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt all registered one hit apiece.
— Vazquez was the lone player to go hitless for Boston.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
The two sides will play the second contest of the three-game set Saturday night, with Chris Sale (Boston) and Sean Manaea (Oakland) expected to start. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. ET.