Boston Red Sox

Betts homers twice, drives in six as Red Sox roll past A's, 11-1

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Betts homers twice, drives in six as Red Sox roll past A's, 11-1

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts can't pinpoint exactly what has changed about his swing lately. The Red Sox right fielder just knows it's starting to feel pretty good.

Betts hit two home runs and a two-run triple, and Boston rolled past the Oakland Athletics 11-1 on Tuesday night.

The Red Sox, winners of five of their last six, pushed their American League East lead back to four games over the Yankees following New York's loss to 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

Betts went 3 for 5 with six RBIs. He's driven in three runs or more in a team-high 11 games.

"I think this is the most consistent I've been," he said. "This is the time where things are a little more magnified due to the playoff race. If I am more relaxed, then that's good."

The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the A's, who scored 41 runs in a four-game sweep of the AL West-leading Houston Astros. They managed just one run and one hit off Eduardo Rodriguez (5-5), who struck out nine over six innings.

In his second career start at Fenway Park, Sean Manaea (10-10) was pulled after giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Last season, he allowed eight runs over 2 2/3 innings in Boston.

"Just falling behind guys," Manaea said. "When I did throw a strike, it was kind of right down the middle."

The Red Sox scored at least nine runs for the third time in four games.

Boston blew the game open with a five-run second inning, getting RBI singles from Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez and Dustin Pedroia before Betts cleared the bases with his triple.

"Offensively a very good night, particularly with the number of hits we took the other way," manager John Farrell said. "That's always a positive sign for us."

20-20 CLUB

Betts now has 21 home runs on the season, and is the first Red Sox player ever to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in back-to-back years. The only other Red Sox hitter with two such seasons is Jackie Jensen in 1954 and 1959.

COLD BATS

The A's had three or fewer hits for the 12th time, tied with the Chicago Cubs for the most such games in the majors this season.

LEAPING GRAB

Jackie Bradley Jr. came up empty in the first when he a mistimed a jump against the center field fence while trying to take away a hit from Jed Lowrie, who ended up with an RBI double.

Bradley made up for it in the fifth when he came down with a leaping grab just in front of the fence on a hard-hit ball by Marcus Semien. Bradley added an RBI double in the bottom of the inning.

FLORIDA PLANS

Farrell said the Red Sox still expect to travel to St. Petersburg, Florida on Friday to begin their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa-St. Petersburg area is recovering after Hurricane Irma swept through earlier this week. "Everything right now points to us going there," Farrell said. Major League Baseball moved what was supposed to be a three-game home series for the Rays against the Yankees to the Mets' Citi Field.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez Farrell will be out "at least another week," Farrell said. Nunez suffered a bruised right knee on a headfirst slide on Saturday and has experienced tightness and swelling. An MRI revealed a sprain, but it was "not MCL or ACL-related," Farrell said.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton (7-10, 5.82 ERA) is slated to make his first career start against the Red Sox.

Red Sox: RHP Doug Fister (5-7) is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his last four starts.

Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

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Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

CINCINNATI - Mitch Moreland ended his long slump with a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward a second straight AL East title, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Saturday.

Boston has won 13 of 16, holding off the Yankees as it tries to win back-to-back East titles for the first time since divisional realignment in 1969. The Red Sox have their best record of the season at 90-64, reaching 90 wins for the second year in a row.

They remain four games in front of the Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-1.

Moreland was in an 0-for-19 slump when he connected off Robert Stephenson (5-6) in the sixth inning, his 20th homer of the season but only his second in September. The Red Sox are last in the AL with 160 homers.

Rodriguez (6-6) has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts, the best stretch of his career. The left-hander gave up three singles and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since May 21.

The Red Sox have shutout victories in three of their last four games, including two at Baltimore. They are 7-1 on a trip that ends Sunday. Boston wraps up the regular season at Fenway Park with three games against Toronto and four against Houston.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grew up in suburban Madeira and had hundreds of relatives and friends in the stands for the series, singled home a run in the seventh at the ballpark where he regularly attended games as a youth.

CSNNE SCHEDULE

Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

Mookie Betts, who fouled a ball off his left foot Friday night, and Dustin Pedroia, who has been bothered by a knee injury almost all season, were out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.

Chris Young started in right field for Betts and Brock Holt at second base for Pedroia.

Betts was scratched from the original lineup but was a late scratch. Pedroia, who had been getting intermittent days off to rest his knee was originally expected to play but needed treatement and hopes to be able to play Sunday, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN. 

Manager John Farrell told reporters, including Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, that Betts "was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. [He] woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."

The manager added that Betts was available to pinch hit Saturday and did not have X-rays, but that step could be taken if there's no improvement in the next 24 hours.