Oakland, CA – September call-ups is always a great day in baseball. More options on the roster and it’s a chance for the young talent to shine.
However, it wasn’t what the A’s expected as they have used the minors to call-up players through the year due to countless injuries. And tonight, Oakland lost another starting pitcher after one inning and there wasn’t much they could do to stop offensive outburst they saw tonight.
In the meantime, the Boston Red Sox took advantage in their 16-2 victory over the A’s. They now sit one game behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. The Red Sox also hold a two-game lead in the Wild Card Race. Losing Andrew Triggs after one frame due to tightness in his back, wasn’t the way this game was suppose to start.
Oakland’s bullpen allowed two hits in the first and second inning to David Ortiz and Mookie Betts. Ortiz who was honored pre-game by the A’s organization on his outstanding career in baseball announced his retirement at the start of the season. The 40-year veteran also keeps putting up numbers like he’s 25. Ortiz drove in three runs and knocked in the first run of the night.
Boston took an 2-0 lead on Ortiz’s RBI single in the first, followed by Betts sacrifice fly scoring in Dustin Pedroia in the third. The A’s tied the game 2-2 in the fourth when Jake Smolinski led off the inning with a single followed by Danny Valencia’s single. Billy Butler drove in Smolinski and Stephen Vogt RBI double tied the game.
“When you get behind in counts and get guys on base and you do it multiple innings, they make you pay,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “They’re first in the league in everything, it seems like. You have to make quality pitches to them and keep guys off base.”
By the fifth, the Red Sox took flight and offensively dominated the game. They scored four runs in the frame, Zach Neal retired the first two batters he faced but then gave up two doubles and two singles before being replaced by Daniel Coulombre who also yielded a double to Travis Shaw before forcing Brock Holt to ground out to end the inning.
Things didn’t get any better for Oakland in the sixth. Coulombe surrendered three back-to-back to load the bases. He then walked Xander Bogaerts and walked in a run before Ortiz’s sacrifice fly made it a 8-2 game. J.B. Wendelken replaced Coulombre and gave up a RBI single to Hanley Ramirez. Travis Shaw followed with a three-run homer capping off an astounding offensive night for the Red Sox extending their lead 12-2.
Boston has scored at least 13 runs and 15 hits in four consecutive games against the A’s this year. They’ve won 14 of their last 21 games and clinched a seasons series win 4-0 with two games left. Oakland has lost four straight games and are 10-22 over the last 32 games. They are now a season-high 20 games under .500 which is the worst record after 134 games since 1997.
David Price struck out five without allowing one hit through three fames. By the fourth he became unraveled allowing four hits and two runs. Price lasted seven innings and struck out seven for the night. After settling down Price shut down the A’s offense for the next three innings. He is 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA over his last five starts.
“He was outstanding,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Price. “He set the tone for us here tonight. He was strong; he had some good swing and miss with some fastballs. By setting the tone, he put up three zeros and allowed us to get on track offensively.”