Benintendi, Red Sox belt Athletics
Pomeranz improves to 4-0 in last six starts
BOSTON » Drew Pomeranz knew it was likely the last batter he’d face. He figured he had to make one of his best pitches.
Pomeranz threw six innings of one-run ball, finishing by striking out Matt Olson with the bases loaded, and Andrew Benintendi had three hits and drove in three runs to lead the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox past the Oakland Athletics 6-2 on Thursday.
With two outs, a full count and the game tied at 1, Pomeranz got Olson swinging on a high, 92 mph fastball.
“In that big situation, making a big pitch is a huge deal when you can wiggle your way out of a jam” Pomeranz said. “He wasn’t chasing the curveball. I got 3-2 on him and I gave all that I have left to make one good pitch and he swung. Luckily, he missed it and that’s what I wanted.”
The added reward was that his teammates took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning, setting him up for the win.
“Another quality start on his part,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was a number of big moments in this game and for Drew himself, probably the last pitch he threw today, the strikeout to Olson, that was going to be his last pitch of the day.”
Pomeranz (16-5) allowed five hits, walking three and striking out five to raise his record to 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last six starts in Fenway Park. He also
tied teammate Chris Sale and two others for the AL lead in victories.
Christian Vazquez hit a solo homer and Mitch Moreland added an RBI double for the Red Sox, who have won six of eight. Boston began the day with a three-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees.
Ryon Healy hit a solo homer for the A’s, who fell for just the second time in eight games. The loss assured Oakland (64-82) of a losing record for the third straight season.
“We had some opportunities, and we had a couple base running mistakes early in the game that cost us,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Benintendi doubled high off the Green Monster, chasing Daniel Gossett (49) and scoring Dustin Pedroia to make it 2-1 in the sixth.
Trailing 1-0, Boston tied it when Vazquez’s drive completely left Fenway over the Monster seats leading off the fifth.
The A’s had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning on Josh Phegley’s sacrifice fly.
Athletics: OF Khris Davis left the team to be with his girlfriend for the expected birth of their first child.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) was activated off the 10-day disabled list. He had been sidelined since July 28. Farrell said the plan is for him to work out of the bullpen . ... Farrell inserted 2B Pedroia into the DH spot to get him off his troublesome left knee that landed him on the DL for nearly two weeks last month and sat struggling regular DH Hanley Ramirez.
Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 27 games against Oakland. During the streak, which started July 14, 2013, he’s batting .421.
Andrew Benintendi watches the flight of his RBI double during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday.
Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz delivers during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics .