Duran, Verdugo each hit a 2-run HR; Red Sox coast past MLB-worst Athletics, 10-3
Jarren Duran and Alex Verdugo each had a two-run homer, and Masataka Yoshida had his sixth consecutive multi-hit game to lead the Boston Red Sox past the Oakland Athletics 10-3 on Saturday.
Christian Arroyo and Duran both had three hits, Yoshida two and Duran scored three runs and drove in three for the Red Sox, who have won seven of eight. Yoshida’s streak matches the MLB’s longest this season.
“It just comes with playing good. I've just got to keep playing good. It's just part of the job,” said Duran, who singled leading off and stole second in the first inning.
“I'm just trying to be that annoyance to the other team, get on base and run and try to cause havoc.”
Manny Piña and Brent Rooker each hit a solo homer for Oakland, which has the major league’s worst record. At 25-66, the Athletics are on pace to finish 45-117.
“He made some good pitches that I was able to foul off and keep giving myself chances to wait for a mistake,” Rooker said of his 11-pitch at-bat in a quiet Athletics' clubhouse. “It was a pretty good pitch he threw, but I was able to put a pretty good swing on it to get it over the wall.”
Feasting on an Athletics’ staff that entered the day with the majors’ highest ERA (6.02), the Red Sox didn’t take long to reach 10 hits for a season-high seventh straight game, getting 12 of their 15 in the initial five innings.
It’s Boston’s longest double-digit hit streak since late-July through early August 2019.
A day after coming off the paternity list following the birth of his and wife Katie’s second child earlier this week, Boston starter James Paxton (5-1) gave up two solo homers in six innings.
“Obviously, a different week (for him), probably not getting too much rest," Boston manager Alex Cora said. “He's a good one — good fastball, good command of his pitches. He understands what he needs to do. ... We needed six today and he did an amazing job.”
Brandon Walter pitched the final three innings for his first major league save.
“It's been a crazy week,” Paxton said. “Just in the hospital, my wife gave birth. I have a little daughter now. Our second (child), it was a great experience.”
Verdugo homered over the Pesky Pole after Justin Turner’s RBI single, making it 3-0 in the first.
In the second, Duran sent his into the first row of Green Monster seats when Boston made it 5-0.
Entering the day averaging 5.7 runs with a .308 average in their previous seven games, the Red Sox scored in each of the first six innings.
Oakland emergency starter Austin Pruitt (1-6), who filled in for scheduled starter Paul Blackburn after the right-hander was scratched about 90 minutes before the game with an illness, gave up four runs in 1 2/3 innings.
The Athletics had a couple of plays that could up on their film of season lowlights.
Second baseman Jordan Diaz ranged into shallow right in the third inning and looked at right fielder Cody Thomas before Triston Casas’ pop dropped between them for a double.
On the other an inning later, Ryan Noda was halfway home on JJ Bleday’s single to right before turning and trying to scamper back to third where he was tagged out diving into the bag.
Red Sox: Right-hander Tanner Houck was in the clubhouse for the first time since he suffered a facial fracture when he was hit by a liner off the bat of the Yankees’ Kyle Higashioka on June 16. “The biggest thing I keep saying is I’m real lucky,” Houck said. … Righty John Schreiber (injured list since mid-May, teres major strain) had his first rehab outing Friday night with Triple-A Worcester. “I feel normal. My body’s been recovering real well,” he said in the clubhouse on Saturday.
LHP JP Sears (1-6, 4.09 ERA) is set to go for the Athletics in Sunday afternoon’s series finale. The Red Sox will use a bullpen game with RHP Tayler Scott (0-0, 7.71) starting.