Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox bounce Oakland Athletics

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 12, 2017 at 11:14 PM
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BOSTON -- Mookie Betts hit two home runs and drove in six runs, and Eduardo Rodriguez won for the first time since May 26 to power the Boston Red Sox to an 11-1 blowout of the Oakland A's on Tuesday night.

Betts tripled home two runs in a five-run second inning, hit a two-run homer in the fourth and another two-run blast in the sixth as the first-place Red Sox piled up 16 hits for their fifth win in six games.

The Red Sox (82-62) moved four games ahead of the New York Yankees (78-66) atop the American League East. Boston also clinched its first back-to-back winning seasons since 2010-11.

It was the 10th multi-homer game for Betts, the 24-year-old's third this season. Jim Rice has the most multi-homer games by a Boston player before turning 25 with 12.

Rodriguez, making his 12th start since his last victory, allowed one run on one hit and four walks in six innings. He struck out nine, tying his season high, to even his season record at 5-5 and his career mark at 18-18. Three relievers finished a three-hitter.

Christian Vazquez, who came in with highest home batting average in the American League at .373, had two RBI hits in the onslaught.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the last-place A's (63-81). Oakland was coming off a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros by a combined 41-15 count.

The Red Sox knocked out A's starter Sean Manaea (10-10) in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up seven runs on 11 hits.

In two career starts at Fenway Park, Manaea, who defeated the Red Sox in Oakland in May, has worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing 21 hits and 15 runs (21.32 ERA).

Betts became the first player in Red Sox history with back-to-back 20-homer, 20-steal seasons.

After wasting a scoring chance in the first inning, the Red Sox used four straight singles for two runs. Vazquez started it with an RBI single before Dustin Pedroia singled home a run and Betts tripled home two.

With two outs in the fourth, Betts connected to make it 7-1 and chase Manaea. Vazquez then doubled home a run and then scored on Jackie Bradley Jr.'s double.

Jed Lowrie's RBI double gave the A's a 1-0 lead in the first.

NOTES: Red Sox INF Eduardo Nunez, who left the Saturday game with what was then called a bruised right knee, has a sprain and will miss at least another week. ... The Tampa Bay Rays say they expect to be able to host the Red Sox in St. Petersburg this weekend. ... With 2018 schedules released Tuesday, the A's open their 50th season at home against the Los Angeles Angels. Their April 17 game will be free to fans. The Red Sox open with five games in Florida, three at Tampa Bay and two at Miami -- and play six of their first eight games against the Rays. ... It was 38 years ago Tuesday that Carl Yastrzemski collected his 3,000th hit, making him the first player with 3,000 hits and 400 homers. ... RHP Jharel Cotton pitches for the A's on Wednesday against RHP Doug Fister, 5-2 with a 2.79 since replacing injured David Price in the rotation. Price is scheduled to throw another simulated game Wednesday. ... Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy threw out the first pitch.

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