Another night, another ridiculous run total for the Red Sox, who pushed across 13 to take the series win from Oakland.
This game has something of a deceptive box score. The score, for instance, is actually deceptively close. Yes, the Athletics managed to close the gap to single digits, but at no point after the third inning was this one ever in doubt. Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez homered in the first to put the Red Sox up 3-0, with Hanley's the sort of gargantuan blast that should signal to all his power drought is over. And while they went quietly in the second, Boston's offense was right back at it in the third, just destroying Sean Manaea. The first five batters of the frame picked up hits against Oakland's young starter, driving home three more runs before Josh Rutledge recorded the first out on a line drive that just happened to find Billy Burns in center. But Travis Shaw got them right back to scoring with a two-run double that ended Manaea's night with the score already at 8-0.
Sean O'Sullivan's line, meanwhile, is perhaps deceptively bad. Look, I won't pretend he was some surprise ace forged in the fires of Brian Bannister's magic mind. But O'Sullivan came up and did all that the Red Sox could ask of him tonight. In stark contrast to Henry Owens, he threw strikes, and lots of them, and made the Athletics beat him. They managed some decent contact, granted, but with a little help from the Athletics--Billy Butler ran into an out at home where Ryan Hanigan probably could've done his taxes before putting down the tag--he managed to get through five scoreless. It was the sort of performance that, even with a bit less luck and a lot less offense, could've kept Boston in the game.
Unfortunately for O'Sullivan, he didn't quite manage to keep it going into the sixth, as the Athletics pushed across four runs against the spot starter. But by that point the Red Sox had already tacked on another three in the bottom of the fifth, with Travis Shaw going yard, leaving their attack far from threatening. Robbie Ross gave one back in the seventh, but the Red Sox quickly responded with two more in the bottom half, keeping alive their trend of scoring every other inning. That, of course, would not last into the ninth, as the bullpen thankfully did not surrender eight runs to force the bottom of the ninth.
16 hits, four walks, four times on base for Hanley, Shaw, and Young--a performance that would be considered altogether ridiculous from Boston if they hadn't just done it the day before against Sonny Gray. This offense is approaching historic levels at this point.
With the series in hand, the Sox go for the sweep behind Rick Porcello on Wednesday.