BOSTON – (Staff Report) – Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts hit a towering homer over Fenway Park’s Green Monster in the 6th inning, his 5th of the season, to drive in DH Hanley Ramirez and left-fielder J.D. Martinez, insuring a 6-4 victory over the Oakland A’s. Bogaerts homer came off A’s reliever Ryan Dull who allowed the three runs and four hits in his one inning of relief. The Boston win brought the team’s record in series finales to 13-1 on the season.
Boston’s ace starter Chris Sale pitched five strong innings for the Red Sox to earn the win, allowing two runs on a Marcus Semien home run in the 5th inning, while striking out nine Oakland batters for his 4th win of the season. Sale threw 102 pitches with 60 strikes but walked four batters on a chilly 51-degree night in Boston.
The Red Sox spotted Sale an early 3-0 lead when Martinez homered in the 1st inning, scoring both lead-off hitter Mookie Betts and center-fielder Andrew Benintendi who were on board early against A’s starter Trevor Cahill who was reinstated from the club’s DL earlier today. Cahill had been idle for 10-days with a right shoulder impingement.
Oakland’s Matt Joyce added a pinch hit home run in the 7th inning, taking Boston middle-reliever Heath Hembree deep over the right field wall, inches away from Betts’ diving attempt at a catch. It was Joyce’s fifth HR of the season. Matt Olsen made it 6-4 when he hit a solo HR off Sox All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel in the 9th inning.
Set-up man Joe Kelly (8th inning) and Kimbrel (9th inning) finished the game for the Red Sox, with Kimbrel earning his 12th save of the season.
NOTES: The Red Sox went 17-2 to open the season but are now 12-12 over their last 24 games. … Thursday will mark the 50th day of the 2018 MLB season and only the 5th when the Red Sox did not have at least a partial share of 1st Place in the AL East. … J.D. Martinez, the newly acquired Red Sox OF, has homered in seven of his last 14 games, including three of his last four. He has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games and has reached base in each of his last 21 games, dating back to April 25th, the longest streak of his career. … Thursday, May 17 was originally an off-day on the Red Sox schedule, but a rain-out on Patriots’ Day (April 17-Boston Marathon Day) is requiring the Sox to face the Baltimore Orioles a day earlier, making their scheduled three-game weekend set a four-gamer. … LHP David Price (3-4, 4.89 ERA) is scheduled to go for the Sox while Baltimore will throw RHP Kevin Gausman (3-2, 3.18 ERA). … Oakland continues their East Coast road swing and will play a four-game series at Toronto Thursday through Sunday at Rogers Centre. … Oakland is 16-12 since April 15th. … The Red Sox drew 34, 947 to watch the game at historic Fenway Park.