Moreland, Vázquez homer, Boston sweeps Oakland 7-3
BOSTON (AP) — Michael Chavis has only played one homestand in Fenway Park and he’s already seen enough crazy bounces for an entire career.
The rookie second baseman earned a single that led to the tying run when his grounder up the middle, a potential double play ball, kicked off of second base and safely into center field. Mitch Moreland followed with a sacrifice fly, then added a solo homer to help Boston beat Oakland 7-3 on Wednesday.
Chavis was thrown out at home later in the inning when he attempted to score from third on a wild pitch that caromed off the backstop right to the catcher, but the Red Sox completed the three-game sweep and revived their hopes of defending their 2018 World Series championship.
“It’s a good start,” Moreland said. “We’ve got three under our belt, so that was a good series, good momentum for us to go back on the road.”
The Red Sox, who started last season 17-2 en route to a franchise record 108 victories and a fourth championship in 15 years, fell to 3-9 after losing the home opener and were seven games under .500 and 7½ games out of first place on April 16.
They have won eight of 12 since.
The Red Sox already trailed 1-0 when Rafael Devers singled leading off the second inning and Chavis bounced one up the middle. Second baseman Chad Pinder, who was preparing to field the ball and step on second to start a double play, wound up ducking to avoid getting hit in the head as Devers went to third.
“It was just bad luck,” Pinder said. “Just one of those plays when things are going bad, those things are going to happen.”
Moreland hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Devers and make it 1-1. Christian Vázquez walked and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled, but Chavis was held up at third.
With Tzu-Wei Lin at the plate, Mike Fiers (2-3) threw a fastball that went off the top of Josh Phegley’s glove, and Chavis took off for home. But the ball bounced off the backstop right back to the catcher, who shuffled back to home plate to tag the sliding runner.
Lin struck out to end the inning.
“I mean, lucky for me, I guess,” Phegley said. “We’ll take it.”
Marcus Walden (4-0) relieved Red Sox starter Hector Velázquez after two innings and pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing one hit. Fiers gave up three runs and five hits in five innings for Oakland, which has lost six in a row starting a nine-game trip.
“You try not to look at it that way — that things aren’t bouncing your way,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We haven’t been unlucky to this point. We just haven’t played well. We have to do something about it.”
After Moreland made it 2-1 in the fourth with his ninth homer, Boston added one run in the fifth on Mookie Betts’ sacrifice fly. The Red Sox loaded the bases again in the sixth before Lin singled in one run and Andrew Benintendi singled in a pair.
Vázquez homered off Ryan Dull to lead off the eighth to make it 7-1. Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg allowed doubles to Matt Chapman, Khris Davis and Pinder in the ninth inning, leading to two runs.
The Red Sox swept a team for the first time at home. They won the season series against Oakland 4-3; the A’s had won it in each of the past two seasons. ... Oakland is hitting.182 on the road trip and had only seven hits. ... Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts had a day off after playing in 20 of the first 30 games. “We’ve been pushing him,” manager Alex Cora said. “After the rest today, he’ll probably play the whole road trip.”... Oakland 1B Kendrys Morales went 0-for-17 in the series and has two hits in his last 39 at-bats.
Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia is heading to Double-A Portland to begin a rehab assignment for his left knee injury. The 2008 AL MVP missed all but three games on the disabled list last season and lasted just six games this season before going on the injured list.
Athletics: Begin a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. LHP Brett Anderson (3-2) will face RHP Joe Musgrave (1-2).
Red Sox: LHP David Price (1-2) will start against the White Sox in Chicago on Thursday night.