By MICHAEL WAGAMAN Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (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 its 10-game road trip with a 7-2 victory 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 in his 1,094th game at shortstop, surpassing the previous club mark held by Everett Scott. It was also Bogaerts’ 1,081st start at the position, tying Scott’s franchise record.
“On a personal level it’s crazy,” Bogaerts said. “I’m very blessed to be in that conversation. I never would have imagined or expected any of that when I made my debut or even when I signed here. It’s been a long road, but a lot of happy moments for sure.”
The three-time All-Star crushed a 2-0 pitch from James Kaprielian to left-center in the fourth inning for his sixth home run of the season.
After the A’s got within 4-2 on Jed Lowrie’s two-run double off Matt Strahm in the eighth, Bogaerts hit a bases-loaded double in the ninth.
“He’s a humble kid from the islands and he just wants to play baseball,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “With time he’s going to realize how important he is for us and for the Red Sox and actually for baseball. This kid is so consistent in everything he does.”
Nathan Eovaldi (3-2) had eight strikeouts and pitched four-hit ball over six scoreless innings to win his second straight for Boston.
“I felt really good,” Eovaldi said. “I had real good fastball command and had a good feel 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 two-run double in the sixth one pitch after thinking he drew ball four, and Alex Verdugo singled and scored twice for the Red Sox.
The A’s, playing in front of their largest crowd (17,852) of the season, fell to 1-7 on their 10-game homestand.
Kaprielian (0-3) allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings.
HE SAID IT
“He was like the greatest 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 placed on the paternity list and flew home to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Franchy Cordero started in Bradley’s place and had an RBI double. … LHP Chris Sale will throw a 25-pitch bullpen Saturday. “I don’t know yet exactly the plan for next week but the way he sees it, probably one more bullpen and then live BP probably Friday or Saturday, which is good news for us,” Cora said. … RHP Matt Barnes (right shoulder inflammation) underwent an MRI and will fly to Fort Myers, Florida, on Saturday to begin rehabbing. … OF Jarren Duran was called up from Triple-A Worcester.
Athletics: C Stephen Vogt is making progress from 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 has a career-high 41 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings, is coming off his first loss of the season.
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