The Oakland A’s fell to the Boston Red Sox by the final score of 7-1 at Fenway Park in the first of a three-game series between these teams.
Dan Strailey was on the hill tonight for the A’s and was not at his best this evening. He went 4.1 innings with and allowed two earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts.
In fact, he was only able to throw a first pitch to three out of 20 batters faced, and that plus a high pitch count led to his early exit from the game. In all he threw 42 balls compared to just 40 strikes.
Strailey’s struggles started in the second inning when the Red Sox scored twice, first on a base hit off the glove of a diving Josh Donaldson. The ball trickled into the outfield and Grady Sizemore scampered in from second to score.
Two batters later Jackie Bradley Jr. lined a double to center allowing A.J. Pierzynski to score following his RBI earlier in the inning.
Down 2-0 the Oakland A’s would answer with a run of their own when a wild pitch by Boston starter Clay Buchholz opened the door for John Jaso to score from third. That made it a 2-1 game.
Buchholz, unlike his counterpart, was strong throughout the game and the wild pitch was the lone run he would allow to go along with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
In the fifth inning, with runners on second and third and one out, Fernando Abad came in relief of Strailey and had his hands full. He got the job done, however, by striking out two to end the inning, the second of which came after intentionally walking the bases loaded.
The biggest blow to the Oakland A’s came in the form of a four-run sixth inning that catapulted the Red Sox to a 6-1 lead after Dan Cook left a slider hanging for Dustin Pedroia. All four runs came off one swing of the bat as Pedroia hit a grand slam over the “Green Monster” that change the course of the game for good.
His hit was initially ruled a home run but was immediately reviewed by the umpires to check for fan interference, though the original call stood. This came after Dan Otero loaded the bases to begin with.
In the eighth the Oakland A’s threatend with runners on first and second with Joenis Cespedes at bat. Cespedes hit a shot that carried to the warning track but was caught. That should have been the end of that, but Josh Donaldson was caught too far off of first and after making the catch in center Jackie Bradley Jr. threw the ball into the infield. Pedroia received the ball as the cut-off man then fired a strike to first to complete the double play, and thus end the threat by Oakland.
It was a rough loss after the day off for the Oakland A’s, and one that seemed to have cooled their bats off. Still, they hold an 18-11 record and will look to get back on track tomorrow afternoon (morning for those of us on the west coast) in game two of the series.