Red Sox vs. A’s Preview: Revenge at Fenway

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 27: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox catches a fly ball hit by Brad Miller #13 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning at Fenway Park on April 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 27: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox catches a fly ball hit by Brad Miller #13 of the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning at Fenway Park on April 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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The Red Sox seek revenge against the pesky A’s, who shut down Boston’s offense in two out of three games.

The Boston Red Sox (28-12) head back home to Fenway Park for a three-game series against the pesky Oakland Athletics (19-21). The Red Sox, who are tied for first place in the AL East, dropped two of three to the A’s in Oakland earlier this season.

The Red Sox rebounded by taking two of three from the Blue Jays in Toronto, after dropping two of three to the Yankees in New York. After the Sox lost an extra innings affair to the Jays, they then took the next two thanks to strong bullpen performances and timely hitting. The Red Sox are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

The A’s are coming off two tough series’ against the Astros and Yankees. After getting swept by the Astros at home, the A’s then lost two of three to the Yankees in the Bronx. The A’s are 4-6 in their last 10.

However, the Red Sox can’t take the A’s lightly — especially after Sean Manaea‘s no-hitter haunted Boston for the rest of the series. Boston’s bats went silent, and the A’s put a halt to the Red Sox winning ways. Price hasn’t been the same pitcher since his eighth innings implosion in Oakland, and the Red Sox are 11-10 since Manaea’s no-hitter.

Pitching Matchups

Monday, May 14 at 7:10 PM Rick Porcello (5-0, 2.79 ERA) vs. Sean Manaea (4-4, 2.11 ERA)

Tuesday, May 15 at 7:10 PM Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 4.58 ERA) vs. Daniel Mengden (2-4, 4.06 ERA)

Wednesday, May 16 at 7:10 PM Chris Sale (3-1, 2.17 ERA) vs. Kendall Graveman (1-5, 7.60 ERA)

Series Notes

  • Manaea is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his last three starts.
  • Porcello has only given up two home runs all year, while last season he gave up 38.
  • After a tough start to the season, Mengden has an ERA of 2.31 for the month of May.
  • The Red Sox are 7-0 this season when Rodriguez pitches.
  • Sale has 27 strikeouts over his last 16 innings, and has thrown more than 100 pitches in four of his past five starts.
  • Sale is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his past three starts.
  • Rafael Devers‘ average has dipped to .257 on the year.
  • Quietly, Mitch Moreland is tied for third on the Red Sox in home runs with six.

Three Keys To Victory

  • Limit damage by Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis: The A’s offense goes as far as Lowrie and Davis takes them. Lowrie leads the team in BA (.340), RBI (36), OBP (.394) and hits (54), while Davis leads the team in HR (11). If the Red Sox can limit the offense provided by these two players, the A’s don’t have a strong supporting lineup behind them.
  • Red Sox must perform offensively: Despite shutting down the Sox in Oakland, the A’s are ranked 17th in the majors with a 4.31 ERA. The Red Sox offense needs to wake up against this team. Knock Oakland’s starters around and give your own pitchers some room to work with against a subpar A’s offense.
  • Bullpen: After a brutal series against the Yankees, the bullpen was sharp against the Jays. Until they face the Yankees again, the bullpen won’t be able to fully redeem themselves, but they can continue to build momentum against inferior teams in the meantime. The Red Sox can’t afford any bullpen collapses against bad teams, as the Yankees are tied with the Sox for first place.

Next: Red Sox ace Chris Sale joins elite territory with 15 strikeout game

Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!

Check back with BoSox Injection prior to the start of every Red Sox series this season for our preview!