Yu Chang drives in 2 runs in 5-run 2nd inning in his return from IL and Red Sox beat Athletics 7-3
Yu Chang hit a bases-loaded single in a five-run second inning in his return from the injured list and the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Friday night.
Chang, out since April with a broken bone in his left hand, drove in the first two runs of the game and was one of six players with RBIs for Boston. The Red Sox pounded out 10 hits and extended their streak of games with 10 or more hits to six.
After taking two of three games against AL West-leading Texas, Boston manager Alex Cora said it was good to see the Red Sox not let up against the A's, who fell to 25-65.
“Everybody’s making a big deal out of that, right? We’re playing good against great teams and struggle against teams under .500,” Cora said. “We just want to play good baseball. We know when we do that we’re a good team."
Jarren Duran, Justin Turner and Alex Verdugo had two hits apiece and each drove in a run for the Red Sox, who have won six of seven with two games remaining before the All-Star break. Nick Pivetta (5-5) struck out eight over five innings of relief and picked up the win.
Seth Brown hit a two-run homer for MLB-worst Oakland, which fell to 2-2 on a six-game trip.
Boston pounced quickly with a five-run second inning, chasing opener Sam Long (0-1) after he walked Triston Casas to load the bases with no outs, following consecutive singles by Verdugo and Kiké Hernández.
Long was replaced by Luis Medina, who struck out Triston Casas before Chang singled up the middle for two RBIs in his first at-bat since going on the 60-day injured list with a fractured bone in his left hand. Boston also got RBI singles from Jarren Duran and Turner during the five-run outburst, sending all nine batters to the plate for five singles and a walk.
“We brought him into a tough situation there in the second,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said.
Medina settled in after the big inning, retiring 12 straight before Casas singled up the middle with two outs in the sixth.
Medina pitched six innings, striking out nine and allowing four runs on four hits with a walk.
“I got a couple ground balls, but they weren’t where nobody was, so nothing you can do with that,” Medina said through an interpreter.
The A’s picked up an unearned run in the fifth on a throwing error by Rafael Devers, who fielded a tough single by Tony Kemp but delivered a wild throw to first. The error allowed Seth Brown to come all the way around from second and cut Boston’s lead to 5-1.
Brown pulled Oakland within 5-3 with a two-run homer in the seventh off of Pivetta. Brown drove the first pitch from Pivetta out to right-center for his eighth homer of the season, just after Shea Langeliers doubled to the corner in left, where Duran badly misread the towering fly and the ball landed on the warning track.
“We didn’t make two plays today, they scored three runs. We have to be better at that,” Cora said.
Although he wasn’t charged with an error, Duran atoned for his blunder in the bottom half with a hard grounder to the right-field corner for a triple. He scored when Adam Duvall ran out an infield single with two outs, putting Boston back up 6-3.
Angel Felipe was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday and made his major league debut, pitching the eighth and getting the Red Sox down in order with one strikeout.
Brennan Bernardino pitched the first two innings for Boston, holding the A’s to one hit and no runs while striking out three and walking one.
Long, who has two saves for the A’s, became the 14th pitcher to start a game for Oakland this season. The left-handed reliever struck out two in the first inning, but didn’t get an out in the second before Medina inherited the bases-loaded jam. Long allowed three runs on three hits and a walk.
Athletics: Placed OF Esteury Ruiz on the 10-day injured list because of a right shoulder injury. Ruiz, a rookie who was leading the majors with 43 stolen bases, jammed the shoulder Wednesday in a game at Detroit. The A’s placed him on the IL Friday and made the move retroactive to Thursday.
Red Sox: Reinstated LHP James Paxton from the paternity leave list in time for his scheduled turn in the rotation on Saturday. … Chang missed 63 games after being placed on the IL April 25 after just 17 games. Chang started at shortstop and batted ninth. … Boston also placed RHP Kaleb Ort on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation, optioned IF David Hamilton to Triple-A Worcester and designated LHP Ryan Sheriff for assignment.
RHP Paul Blackburn (1-1, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to start for Oakland on Saturday against Boston LHP James Paxton (4-1, 2.70) in the second of the three-game series.