OAKLAND, California (AP) – Xander Bogaerts homered and drove in three runs to celebrate becoming the career leader in games played by a Red Sox shortstop, and Boston opened his 10-game road trip with a 7-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
The A’s fell to 7-21 at home — their worst start at the Coliseum since moving from Kansas City in 1968.
Bogaerts played at shortstop in his 1094th game, surpassing Everett Scott’s previous club figure. It was also Bogaerts’ 1,081st start at the position, tying Scott’s franchise record.
“On a personal level, it’s crazy,” said Bogaerts. “I am very blessed to be in that conversation. I never thought or expected that when I made my debut or even when I signed here. It has been a long road, but certainly many happy moments.”
The three-time All-Star crushed a 2-0 pitch by James Kaprielian to center left in the fourth inning for his sixth home run of the season.
After the A’s came in 4-2 on Jed Lowrie’s two-run double off of Matt Strahm in the eighth, Bogaerts doubled with the bases loaded in the ninth.
“He’s a humble kid from the islands and he just wants to play baseball,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “Over time, he’s going to realize how important he is to us and to the Red Sox and really to baseball. This kid is so consistent in everything he does.”
Nathan Eovaldi (3-2) struckout eight and threw four hits in six scoreless innings to record his second consecutive win for Boston.
“I felt really good,” said Eovaldi. “I had a really good fastball command and had a good feeling for my splitter again. We were able to get some quick outs and we were able to get on the board first and keep the lead. †
Trevor Story had a double-run double in the sixth pitch after thinking he had pulled ball four, and Alex Verdugo singled and scored twice for the Red Sox.
Playing in front of their biggest crowd (17,852) of the season, the A’s fell to 1-7 on their 10-game homestand.
Kaprielian (0-3) gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings.
HE SAID IT
“He was the best college player ever, offensively, defensively and on the mound. When you talk about college baseball, that’s the name that comes up.” — Cora, pointing to A’s manager Mark Kotsay.
Red Sox: RF Jackie Bradley Jr. was put on the paternity list and flew home to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Franchy Cordero started for Bradley and had an RBI-double. … LHP Chris Sale will throw a 25-pitch bullpen on Saturday. “I don’t exactly know the plan for next week yet, but the way he sees it, probably another bullpen and then live BP probably Friday or Saturday, which is good news for us,” Cora said. … RHP Matt Barnes (inflammation of the right shoulder) underwent an MRI and will fly to Fort Myers, Florida on Saturday to begin rehab. …OR Jarren Duran was called up from Triple-A Worcester.
Athletics: C Stephen Vogt is making progress on his sprained right knee, but there is no timetable for his return.
Red Sox RHP Nick Pivetta (4-4, 3.95 ERA) has won each of his past four starts and has a 0.76 Whip over his last five. Oakland RHP Paul Blackburn (5-1, 2.15), who struckout 41 career career in 54 1/3 innings, is coming off his first loss of the season.
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