The A’s pound the Red Sox, win Game One of the four-game series 8-3

May 18, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics’ Rajai Davis (11) is tagged trying to stretch a double into a triple, after stepping off the bag at third, by Boston Red Sox third baseman Deven Marrero during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

by Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s sent their ace, Sonny Gray, to the hill as they started a four-game series with the visiting Boston Red Sox. Gray entered the contest with a 0-1 record and an ERA of 3.78. The A’s were hoping that he would return to the form he showed in 2015 when he finished third in the voting for the Cy Young Award. Gray responded with a “quality start” as he went six innings and allowed just four hits and three runs. The Red Sox scored two in the first and Gray threw 31 pitches, and it looked like it was going to be an early exit for Sonny. However, Sonny found his rhythm and was able to go six full innings and threw 103 pitches as the A’s beat the Red Sox 8-3.

The Red Sox starter, Hector Velazquez was making his Major League debut. The 28-year old Velazquez was called up from Pawtucket where he was 5-1. Velazquez had pitched in then Mexican Leagues for eight years before signing with the Red Sox. He did not have a memorable first start. He went five innings and allowed six runs, nine hits including three home runs, walked two and struck out four. Velazquez took the loss and is 0-1.

The Red Sox took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Sox’ Mookie Betts hit a sharp single to left. Dustin Pedroia followed with a slow roller that went for an infield single. Betts made it to 3rd when no one was covering. A’s starter Sonny Gray struck out Xander Bogaerts for the first out. Sox DH Hanly Ramirez singled to drive in Betts. Mitch Moreland walked to load the bases. Former Athletic Chris Young hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Pedroia with Boston’s second run of the inning. Sonny Gray threw 31 pitches in the inning.

The A’s responded in the bottom of the first. Rajai Davis led off with a single. Davis tried to steal second but was thrown out. Matt Joyce walked and that was followed by a booming home run to center-field over the 400-foot marker off the bat of Jed Lowrie. The next batter, Khris Davis homered to right-center. It was the first time this season that the A’s have homered back-to-back. Hector Velazquez, making his Major League debut for Boston, also threw 31 pitches in the inning.

The Sox tied the game in the top of the fourth when first baseman Mitch Moreland took Sonny Gray deep to left-center-field for a solo homer. The A’s, however, stormed back in the bottom of the inning. Ryon Healy led off with a single and came around to score when Trevor Plouffe doubled into the gap in left-center. A’s DH Chad Pinder blasted a home run that went over the 388-foot marker to give the A’s a 6-3 lead.  The ball landed in the seats and appeared to travel well over 400 feet.

The A’s scored two more on a walk and two hits to take a commanding 8-3 lead. Robbie Ross, Jr was the Red Sox pitcher. Things went downhill for him as he walked Stephen Vogt leading off. Trevor Plouffe singled to put men on at first and second with no out. The Runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. With one out Adam Rosales singled to drive in Vogt with Oakland’s 7th run of the night. Rajai Davis hit into a fielder’s choice and Plouffe scored run number 8 for Oakland. The A’s lead 8-3 after six innings of play

The A’s bullpen shut down the Sox’ offense the last three innings of the game to win the opener of the four-game series.

Game Notes and stats- The A’s offense came to life Thursday night as they rapped out 13 hits after being shutout Wednesday night in a game that saw them manage just two hits. All the players in the A’s lineup had a hit except for Stephen Vogt. Home runs were hit by Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, and Chad Pinder. Trevor Plouffe Plouffe extended his hitting streak to nine games and had a single and two doubles in Thursday’s game. Jed Lowrie snapped a 0-for-13 streak with a home run in the first inning.

Game Two will be played Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Game time will be at 6:05 as the A’s will have their first Fireworks night of the season.

Kendall Graveman (2-2, 3.95ERA0 will go for Oakland, and he will be opposed by Boston’s star lefty, Chris Sale (4-2, 2.15 ERA). Should be a good game if Graveman has his sinker working. Sale leads Major League Baseball with 85 Strikeouts and is tied with Randy Johnson for a pitcher through their first 8 starts of the year with a team.

 

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About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger

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