The Boston Red Sox won their 6th game in their last 7 when they won the series opener against the league-worst Oakland Athletics.
This game is the return of Yu Chang who was activated from the injured list and started at shortstop, which meant that David Hamliton had been sent down to Triple-A Worcester. Matasaka Yoshida was out today, so that meant that Jarren Duran was in left field while Turner was in the DH spot. Also, Kike Hernandez was started at second base for the second straight game.
The Sox started Brennan Bernadino for the 2nd straight bullpen game after Kaleb Ort was sent to the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation.
Yu Chang started a five-run 2nd inning for the Red Sox
Yu Chang came up in his first at-bat back from the injured list with bases loaded in the 2nd inning. Alex Verdugo and Hernandez both singled and then Tristan Casas, which moved Kike to second while Dugie stayed at third, making the case for Chang to get some RBIs and he did just that. With his single, he drove in two runs from Kike and Dugie to break the ice in the game.
Afterwards, Chang went to second and Casas went to third on the wild pitch from rookie Luis Medina who was relieving starter Sean Long, who is also usually in the bullpen and is only making his 2nd start of the season. Duran scored Casas home on an infield single to make it 3-0.
Justin Turner scored Chang home while moving Duran to third on the RBI single, and then finally Duran scored when Devers reached first on the fielder’s choice by throwing Turner out at second.
The inning finally ended when Adam Duvall, who did strike out three times in this game.
Red Sox player of the game: Nick Pivetta brings the bread from the bullpen
In the 3rd inning, Nick Pivetta relieved Brennan Bernadino after he pitched two innings. Pivetta would take the bulk of the pitching in this game where he pitched five innings.
The five innings were his longest outing since becoming a reliever in late May, as these were mostly the same amount of innings that he would pitch as a starter this season, with him going above five only once in his three wins as a starter. He has gone 2-2 since using his arm in the bullpen with his other win going on in Game 1 of the June 18 doubleheader against the New York Yankees.
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Pivetta struck out eight in his appearance, which is his season-high in strikeout whether it’s in the bullpen or as a starter. In his last three appearances he has struck out at least six including the win on July 2 against the Toronto Blue Jays. The man was truly throwing fireballs from the mound.
Pivetta got the nod as the winner, and was relieved by Joe Jacques in the 8th who would go finish the game. There were rumors that Pivetta may be starting on Sunday, but given how long he went in this game that is unlikely to happen.
Red Sox play of the game: Duran speeds his way to third
Jarren Duran has shown his speed one more time in this game. In the 7th, Duran was easily able to speed his way for a stand up triple, which is his 2nd of the season.
This was Duran’s 59th extra-base hits in his 159th game, Duran has joined a list which includes Nomar Garciaparra which is the list of the Red Sox players who had 25+ steals and 50+ extra base hits in their first 162 games.
The Red Sox will be playing the Oakland A’s on Saturday afternoon at 4:35 pm first pitch with James Paxton on the mound.