BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts led a batting barrage and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched his best game in weeks, leading the Red Sox to an 11-1 rout over the Athletics on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.With the win, Boston (82-62) expanded its lead in the American League East to
BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts led a batting barrage and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched his best game in weeks, leading the Red Sox to an 11-1 rout over the Athletics on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
With the win, Boston (82-62) expanded its lead in the American League East to four games over the Yankees.
In one of the most well-rounded games the Red Sox have played this season, Betts smashed two homers and drove in six, while Bogaerts went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Eight of Boston's nine starters had hits, including three from Dustin Pedroia, and two from Christian Vazquez and Chris Young.
"Any time you can get a couple of guys hot in the lineup, that changes how pitchers pitch, and with our lineup, it could be two different guys on different days," said Betts. "That's the beauty about us."
It was the fifth win in the last six games for Boston.
"The beauty of it is we are starting to get some production all the way through the bottom third of the order," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The way [Rafael] Devers is swinging the bat, the way Vazqy has been swinging the bat for a while, that makes a huge difference as we turn the lineup over. If you can combine it with quality starters that keep the game under control, it's a good recipe."
Rodriguez fired six innings of one-hit ball while striking out nine for his first win in the 12 starts he's made since May 26.
"He had really good stuff tonight," said Farrell. "I thought particularly his changeup and fastball combination, that was able to get him a number of swing and misses. And he used his cutter backdoor to right-handers to give him a three-pitch mix against righties. So it was good to see him go out and put up zeros after we scored. But an encouraging start with him given the overall pitch mix and the overall location as well."
Boston also made some sparkling plays on defense, including a leaping catch against the wall by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth, and a beautiful snare of a line drive by Devers at third base in the eighth.
A's lefty starter Sean Manaea was responsible for seven runs on 11 hits in just 3 2/3 innings, sparking bad memories of his last outing at Fenway Park, which also marked just the third start of his Major League career. He allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings on May 10, 2016.
"It was in the back of my head," Manaea said. "I've kind of had nightmares coming to this place. Last year was a really tough start. Coming in to today, I was hoping to get past that and do well against these guys. Unfortunately it didn't happen, so I just gotta keep working on things and hopefully next year I can come back here and do well."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mookie's 20-20 vision: The towering two-run shot by Betts in the fourth gave him a second consecutive 20-20 season, making him the first Red Sox player in history to achieve 20 homers and 20 steals in two consecutive seasons. In fact, the only other Boston player to have two 20-20 seasons was Jackie Jensen in 1954 and '59. The 434-foot shot was the longest batted ball by Betts since Statcast™ started in 2015.
"Yeah, any time you can get a milestone like that you should always be appreciative, and I am," said Betts. "I think it just shows the type of player that I can be and the player that I strive to be." More >
Bogaerts jump-starts first rally: When the Red Sox rallied for five in the bottom of the second, one of the most encouraging developments was Bogaerts driving in the first run of the inning with a laser single (101.3 mph) up the middle. Bogaerts entered the night with a .200 average and .573 OPS since the All-Star break.
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The Red Sox have been striking early of late, scoring five runs in the second inning in three of their last four games.
Pitching has also been stellar of late, as Boston starters have allowed two runs or fewer in the last six games.
A's: Right-hander Jharel Cotton will make his first career start against the Red Sox on Wednesday in a 4:10 p.m. PT matchup at Fenway Park. The rookie has a 5.82 ERA on the season, including a 7.02 mark in his past eight starts.
Red Sox: Right-hander Doug Fister will try to stay hot when he takes the ball for Wednesday's middle game of this three-game series. Fister is 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA in seven starts since replacing David Price in the starting rotation. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET.
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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.