Offensive Explosion, Marvelous Pitching Carry Sox to Easy Victory

June 4

Last night, Bogaerts passed Everett Scott for most games at shortstop for the Sox, with 1094 (see my June 1 writeup for more on that). Blackburn pitches for Oakland against Pivetta. The Athletics catch a break in the top of the second, ironically, because of their own player’s miscue! A routine pop-up is not caught at third base. Seeing this, Verdugo takes off for second, only for the third baseman to recover and throw out Verdugo there to end the inning. With two out in the bottom of the inning, Andrus doubles to the gap in left-center, but a strikeout ends the inning. Story leads off the top of the third with a double down the left-field line. A walk puts two on for Vázquez, who doubles down the left-field line. Story jogs home to make it 1-0 Sox, and there are still two men in scoring position. With two out, both Cordero and Vázquez score to make it 3-0 when Devers singles to center. With a runner at first and nobody out in the top of the fourth, Verdugo doubles to right to score Bogaerts and make it 4-0. He is stranded. Laureano leads off the bottom of the inning with a double to left and takes third base with one out on defensive indifference but is stranded. After the first two batters reach in the top of the fifth, Blackburn is pulled, but he might have stayed in longer without that disastrous third inning. The Sox load the bases with two out later, but a fly out keeps the game close, if one can call it that.

Pivetta breezes through the Oakland lineup, helped by Franchy Cordero's making a sprawling catch on the infield grass for the second out of the bottom of the sixth. Martinez leads off the top of the eighth with a double to the left-field corner, followed by a single to left by Bogaerts to put runners at the corners. Martinez scores on a single to right by Verdugo to open things up at 5-0. That’s the first run scored since the fourth inning. Bogaerts scores on a Story double to left to make it 6-0. Verdugo and Story score on a bloop single by Cordero. It’s 8-0! The Sox have two on with one out later in the frame, leading to a pitching change. A walk loads the bases, but nobody else scores in the inning. With a runner at first and two out in the bottom of the eighth, a routine groundout goes awry when the throw misses first base. Kemp is a little too daring and tries to score, but then turns back toward third when he realizes his mistake, where he is nabbed to end the inning. So that is ruled a base hit and an error, but the A’s are kept off the scoreboard. As it turns out, the A’s would not score all afternoon while the Red Sox cruise to an easy 8-0 victory.