Hanley back in swing of things as Sox best A's
BOSTON -- Right-hander Joe Kelly turned in a quality outing and left fielder Hanley Ramirez collected three hits as the Red Sox beat the A's, 4-2, on Saturday at Fenway Park.
Pitching with his rotation spot on the line, Kelly stifled Oakland's lineup en route to his second win of the season. He gave up only one run, which came on a Billy Burns triple in the third inning, and fanned six in six strong innings of work.
"Whether it's the last couple of starts or even going back to when he first arrived here last year, Joe's got the ability to rise to an occasion inside of a game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
First baseman Mark Canha scored Oakland's only other run when he belted a solo home run in the seventh. Right-hander Jesse Chavez took the loss after allowing four runs and 10 hits over five innings -- his shortest start since April 30.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara pitched for the third day in a row and converted his 60th save as a member of the team.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Joe in a jam: Kelly stranded five men during his outing and excelled in the tight situations. In the third, he pitched around Burns' triple by retiring Ben Zobrist and striking out Stephen Vogt. Kelly left men on first and second in the following inning after allowing a double and a walk with one out. Kelly went on to retire eight of the last nine batters he faced.
"I was commanding [my fastball]," Kelly said. "If I felt like I needed a little extra [velocity], I went for it in key situations where I needed a big out. I threw some good changeups today, got some early outs from those, some swings and misses. So that was a really big help using that secondary pitch today." More >
Scoreless streak no more: Chavez had not allowed an earned run in his previous 16 innings when Ramirez launched a two-run homer with one out in the first. The right-hander was on the hook for two more runs in the third, when Ramirez caused trouble again with a two-out infield single and scored on David Ortiz's ensuing double in advance of a Mike Napoli RBI single.
"The only small difference I saw was he was a little bit up," said Vogt. "Typically, if he makes a mistake over the plate, it's down, and today he made a couple out and over the plate that he doesn't do, so that was a little different. But if you go back and watch, he still made some good pitches." More >
Hanley's homer sparks Sox: Ramirez staked Boston to an early lead in the first inning with a monstrous two-run blast to center. The home run, projected by Statcast™ to land 424 feet away, was his team-leading 13th of the year and his third in the last 10 days. He finished 3-for-5 and scored from first base on David Ortiz's third-inning double.
"Very good day," Farrell said. "He gives us an immediate lift with a two-run homer in the first. Ran the bases well. Three base hits on the day. Had a chance for probably a huge day, but hit a couple of balls right to the second baseman." More >
"Hanley scoring from first, I don't know if it's a pretty sight. I was trying to tell him to take it easy coming into home. He's playing the game hard, and that's what we need to do from pitch one to the last out." -- Napoli, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI
A's: RIght-hander Kendall Graveman, who is 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA in three starts since his return from Triple-A Nashville, will look to help the A's avoid a three-game series sweep at Fenway Park in Sunday afternoon's finale.
Red Sox: The Red Sox will aim for their first sweep of the season when right-hander Clay Buchholz (3-6, 3.82 ERA) takes the mound at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday. Buchholz has posted a 1.95 ERA over his last five outings, all of which were quality starts.
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