Trying to salvage what’s left of their nine-game homestand, the Boston Red Sox’s bats came alive to bail them out in their series opener against the Oakland Athletics.
A disastrous second inning from Eduardo Rodriguez put the Sox in a four-run hole early, but Boston bats came through in the sixth, putting a six-spot on Oakland. The pitching staff teamed up to keep things intact from there in a 9-4 win at Fenway Park on Monday night.
All things considered, Rodriguez was pretty decent outside of the second but did not make it out of the fifth inning after 97 pitches. All-in-all, it took seven pitchers to get the job done, while the offense chipped in with 12 hits. Heath Hembree earned the win, while Frankie Montas earned the loss.
The Red Sox move to 12-17 with the victory while the Athletics fall to 14-17 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
It could have been an ugly night at Fenway if not for strong relief pitching and some clutch hitting.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez managed to turn what could have been a disastrous start into a pretty mediocre one, which perhaps was the best case scenario for the Red Sox. The lefty was done after 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, all earned, over seven hits while walking two and striking out seven.
All four runs occurred in a nightmare second inning. Rodriguez walked Chad Pinder and Kendrys Morales to start the frame. After both runners advanced on a fielder’s choice, Jurickson Profar made it 2-0 with a line drive to left field that rolled to the Monster.
Profar was plated on a line-drive single by Josh Phegley to make it 3-0. Rodriguez struck out Marcus Semien for the second out, but allowed Matt Chapman to lace a run-scoring double down the right field line to make it 4-0.
Rodriguez settled in to retire the next seven batters he faced, going 1-2-3 in the third and fourth innings. He then picked off Semien after a leadoff single in the fifth. Back-to-back singles by Stephen Piscotty and Khris Davis put an end to the southpaw’s night.
— Heath Hembree got out of the fifth-inning jam to preserve Boston’s lead. He got Pinder to ground out to strand two runners on base.
— Colten Brewer chucked a short sixth inning, allowing a single, but getting Profar to ground into an inning-ending double play started by Michael Chavis at first base.
— Brandon Workman allowed back-to-back walks to start the seventh, but battled back to strike out the next two batters. Alex Cora went for the hook after a wild pitch put runners on second and third with two outs.
— Ryan Brasier put the fire out, getting Davis to chase a ball in the dirt to get the inning-ending strikeout. He set the A’s down 1-2-3 in the eighth.
— Hector Velazquez came in to mop up in the ninth, but only recorded one out before loading the bases.
— Matt Barnes was forced to enter in a one-out, bases loaded situation but induced a pop out and ground out to end the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Montas needed just 14 pitches to get through the first two innings, inducing inning-ending double plays in both frames.
— Boston ignited in the third, however, plating six runs to take a 6-4 lead.
Christian Vazquez started the rally with a one-out walk. Tzu-Wei Lin then reached on a fielder’s choice and an error that put runners on first and second.
Andrew Benintendi then rolled one over to first base, but Montas missed the bag while retrieving the toss from Morales, loading the bases for Mookie Betts. The reigning MVP cashed in with an RBI single to right field to plate Boston’s first run.
J.D. Martinez kept the line moving with an RBI single that plated Lin. Xander Bogaerts knotted things up with a sharp liner to center to make it 4-4.
After a Rafael Devers groundout, Chavis singled up the middle to plate Bogaerts and Martinez and give the Sox the lead.
— Boston plated another run in the fifth.
Devers got things going with a two-out double that got over the head of Ramon Laureano. He then was driven in on a bloop single to right off the bat of Chavis.
— More insurance came in the seventh, as Boston got to journeyman Fernando Rodney for a run.
Devers drew a leadoff walk, then stole second. He was driven in on a one-out single from Jackie Bradley Jr., who would get stranded at second after a pop out and grounder.
— Boston added one more in the eighth, with Benintendi singling to start the frame, then advancing to second on a single from Betts. Benintendi moved to third on a pitch in the dirt that got Betts hung up in a rundown for the first out. Martinez drove Benintendi in with a sac fly to center.
— Betts had three hits, while Devers, Bogaerts and Chavis all had two hits for the Sox, with Chavis driving in three runs and Bogaerts driving in two.
— Benintendi, Martinez and Bradley Jr. each had one hit.
— Vazquez and Lin were the only Red Sox to go hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Chavis has been something else.
The Red Sox continue their three-game homestand against the A’s on Tuesday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Rick Porcello (1–3, 7.43 ERA) is slated to take on Aaron Brooks (2–2, 5.33 ERA).