Chris Bassitt struck out a season-high 10 over seven innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Tuesday night in a matchup of American League division leaders.
Matt Chapman and Elvis Andrus hit RBI singles for the A's in the seventh inning as Oakland broke a 1-all tie with two runs. Matt Olson also had an RBI single for the A's, who opened six-game road trip with a victory.
Yusmeiro Petit pitched a scoreless eighth and Jake Diekman got his fourth save despite walking two batters in the ninth.
Rafael Devers homered for Boston, which has lost two straight since winning four in a row.
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Bassitt (3-2), whose previous high this season was nine strikeouts on April 29 at Tampa Bay, allowed just three hits and two runs. He hurt himself in the first with a pair of wild pitches that helped Boston take a 1-0 lead. But he settled down nicely after J.D. Martinez's sacrifice fly, retiring 14 straight batters before Michael Chavis singled in the sixth.
“My nerves were way more than normal in the first inning,” said Bassitt, who was making his first appearance at Fenway Park. “After that, I just kind of started pitching again and I was kind of normal. But yeah, I would say in the first inning, Fenway got the best of me.”
Boston led 1-0 until the fourth, when Olson singled to drive in Seth Brown.
Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi lasted six innings, holding Oakland to one run on two hits and two walks. He struck out four before Darwinzon Hernandez took over in the seventh. After Olson drew a leadoff walk, Jed Lowrie and Chapman followed with back-to-back singles as Oakland took its first lead.
“You’ve got to find a way to push those runs across any way you can. That’s what good teams do,” Olson said.
Hernandez (0-2) was replaced by Adam Ottavino with one out and runners at second and third. Boston caught a break when Sean Murphy hit a hard grounder to third and Devers came right home to catcher Christian Vázquez, who had Lowrie in a rundown and tagged him for the second out. Chapman scored on Elvis Andrus’ bloop single for a 3-1 lead.
“That was huge. He’s gotten some big hits for us,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “That ended up being as big an at-bat as we had during the game.”
Devers' homer in the bottom of the seventh, his ninth of the season, pulled Boston back within a run. Fans booed when the umpire crew circled for a replay review, but the cheering resumed when replays showed the ball cleared the Green Monster before a fan touched it.
The A's outhit the Red Sox 7-4 and Boston batters were 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position.
“You don’t need to hit rockets or hit home runs when there’s traffic around. You put the ball in play and good things happen. That’s what they did today,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “We had the tying run at third and the winning run at first on a night where we didn’t do too much offensively. We’ll take that and get ready for tomorrow."
Melvin said it was important for the A's to put some pressure on Eovaldi early. Melvin said Eovaldi can throw hard and has five different pitches that he can throw for strikes.
Although Eovaldi pitched six innings, he threw 102 pitches before Hernandez replaced him in the seventh.
“He can be tough to navigate,” Melvin said. “It was good that we made him work and get him out of the game."
Athletics: C Aramís García (viral enteritis) is traveling with the club and could return to the roster this week, Melvin said. … OF Chad Pinder (sprained left knee) continued a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas, where he played shortstop on Monday. Melvin said the A’s can play Pinder in the outfield or infield whenever he’s ready to return. “We’re going to play him in different positions like we always do and then once he gets here, we’ll figure out what we think the best complement is,” Melvin said.
Red Sox: INF Kiké Hernández (right hamstring strain) and INF Christian Arroyo (bruised left hand) could be activated from the 10-day injured list by next week, Cora said.
Athletics: RHP James Kaprielian gets his first start in the majors Wednesday.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodríguez (5-0, 3.82 ERA) is unbeaten through six starts and has gone at least five innings in his last 34 starts.
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