A quick burst of offense made for smooth sailing for Chris Sale as the Boston Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-4 win against the Oakland Athletics in the series finale on Wednesday night in Boston.
J.D. Martinez (1-for-3) hit a two-run homer and Hanley Ramirez (1-for-4) had an RBI in the first inning, and Xander Bogaerts (1-for-4) added a three-run homer later in the game. Sale (4-1) allowed two runs on two hits and struck out nine over five innings.
Marcus Semien (2-for-4) launched a two-run homer and both Matt Joyce (1-for-2) and Matt Olson (2-for-4) had solo shots for the Athletics, who were 6-5 winners in the series opener Monday and earned a 5-3 victory after a lengthy rain delay on Tuesday.
Boston entered Wednesday having lost five of its last eight games. Oakland had won three of five.
Athletics starter Trevor Cahill (1-2) was tagged for three runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout in a five-inning loss.
In a strong, but short, outing, Sale threw 102 pitches and walked a season-high four batters.
Craig Kimbrel gave up a run in the ninth, but still earned his 12th save.
Ramirez’s RBI groundout after a lengthy at-bat opened the scoring in the Boston first. Martinez followed with his 12th homer of the season, a two-run blast that traveled an estimated 422 feet to center field.
Oakland finally cracked Sale in the fifth as Semien, who had both hits against Sale, knocked a ball approximately 372 feet over the Green Monster in left to make it 3-2. It was Semien’s fourth homer this season.
Bogaerts answered an inning later with a three-run shot to make it 6-2, a ball that sailed an estimated 411 feet over the Monster. Bogaerts has five long balls on the season.
Pinch hitting, Joyce made it a three-run game again with his fifth homer of 2018 in the seventh, which barely evaded the grasp of Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts. Betts came up limping after appearing to jam his right foot against the wall trying to make the catch, but he stayed in the game.
Olson’s sixth homer of the campaign narrowly cleared the Monster to lead off the ninth against Kimbrel.
Boston left-hander David Price (3-4, 4.89 ERA) will pitch on Thursday opposite the Baltimore Orioles. Oakland right-hander Andrew Triggs (3-1, 5.31) faces the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.
—Field Level Media