It was a matchup between two of the best teams in all of baseball, and the series got off to quite a start as the Oakland Athletics fell to the Boston Red Sox by the score of 4-2 at the O.Co Coliseum on Friday night.
Uncharacteristically, the A’s bullpen was to blame for the loss.
With the game tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, Dustin Pedroia laced a singled to left field that scored runners from second and third. Sean Doolittle had allowed a hit and plunked a batter, so Bob Melvin turned to Ryan Cook, who promptly gave up the game-winning hit to Pedroia.
Jarrod Parker was fantastic, allowing two runs on just three hits, striking out three and walking nobody in seven innings. He sent down the last 16 batters that he faced.
Parker’s only blemish came in the second. After back-to-back runners reached to lead off the inning, he had to wait out a lengthy delay because of an injury to home plate umpire CB Bucknor, who was hit by a pitch and had to leave the game.
Perhaps a little rusty, he allowed a two out single to Brock Holt that scored both runners and gave the Red Sox an early 2-0 advantage.
On the other side, Red Sox starter John Lackey was just as impressive.
Lackey did not allow a hit for the first four innings, but the A’s got to him in the next two frames.
Seth Smith doubled to lead off the fifth, and he crossed the plate on a John Jaso single to right field. Later in the inning, with runners on first and third and one out, Josh Donaldson hit an absolute laser to second that was speared by Pedroia, who started an inning-ending double play.
But in the sixth, the A’s would tie things up on one swing of the bat, as Jed Lowrie homered to right field on the second pitch he saw.
The game would only remain tied for so long, and in the end it was Pedroia’s heroics at the plate and in the field that propelled the Red Sox to victory.