Boston Red Sox

Red Sox fall to A's, 7-3; A.L. East lead cut to three games

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Red Sox fall to A's, 7-3; A.L. East lead cut to three games

BOSTON -- Matt Olson hit a two-run homer, Jed Lowrie drove in two runs and the Oakland Athletics rebounded for a 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox to win for the sixth time in seven games Wednesday night.

The loss sliced Boston's lead in the AL East to three games over the second-place New York Yankees, who beat Tampa Bay 3-2.

Oakland, which owns the majors' worst road record (22-48), snapped an eight-game losing streak away from home. The A's had dropped their past seven at Fenway Park.

Dustin Pedroia had three singles for Boston to extend his hitting streak against the A's to 26 games. The Red Sox had won five of six.

Jharel Cotton (8-10) picked up the win, allowing three runs in five innings. He entered 1-7 with an 8.00 ERA in night games.

Five relievers held Boston scoreless the rest of the way.

Doug Fister (5-8) was tagged for six runs and six hits in four innings. He was 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his previous four starts.

A night after getting routed 11-1 by the Red Sox, last-place Oakland built a 6-1 lead by scoring four in the first and two in the third.

Lowrie had an RBI triple and Khris Davis a run-scoring single in the first before Olson hit his homer into the A's bullpen.

Boston scored a run in the first on Mookie Betts' RBI grounder and one in the third on Andrew Benintendi's RBI double.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

A few fans seated above the Green Monster unfurled a sign denouncing racism during the fourth inning. The sign, draped over the middle of the 37-foot wall, had a black background with white letters that read: "Racism is as American as Baseball." It was up for about one batter and umpires asked that it be removed because it was in fair territory. There was a smattering of boos from the crowd as Red Sox security forced the fans to put away the sign and led them away from their seats. A team spokesman said four people were escorted from the ballpark and one of them said they were inspired by Black Lives Matter.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) threw his second simulated game. "He's in the process of building up arm strength," manager John Farrell said. "I thought he threw with good velocity." Price, who has seldom spoken to the media while working his way back, said: "I don't know how many more times I have to do a live BP, but if I come tomorrow and feel fine, I don't know what else I have to do."

PAPI'S POSITION

The Red Sox announced they have reached a long-term agreement with retired slugger David Ortiz that "should link him with the organization forever."

Ortiz is expected to act as a mentor to current players, help recruit players, make appearances and help develop business for Fenway Sports Management and its partners.

"He got his long-term deal," Farrell joked before adding: "His place in this organization speaks for itself. I'm glad he's going to be here. I hope to be able to include him in some player aspects going forward."

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Daniel Gossett (4-8, 5.02 ERA) starts the series finale Thursday afternoon.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (15-5, 3.35) is up for Boston. He's won eight of his last nine decisions.

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.