OAKLAND, Calif. -- For a team that hadn't been able to score -- let alone win -- on the road, the Red Sox picked a curious opponent against whom to break their streaks.
Winless on the road before Wednesday and held without a run in their last 20 straight road innings, the Sox broke out against Oakland A's lefty Gio Gonzalez, who had allowed one run in his first three outings combined and went on to beat the A's, 5-3.
After the A's nicked Clay Buchholz (1-2) for a run in the first, the Sox countered with five runs, four off Gonzalez. Carl Crawford chipped in with run-scoring single in the second and Kevin Youkilis gave the Sox their first lead with a solo homer in the fourth.
White-hot Jed Lowrie belted a two-run homer in the sixth before a solo homer from J.D. Drew against the A's bullpen closed out the scoring.
Daniel Bard inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam from Buchholz in the sixth and stranded all three runners. Bard pitched 1 23 scoreless innings.
Bobby Jenks yielded a run in the eighth and left the bases loaded for Jonathan Papelbon, who fanned David DeJesus for the final out of the eighth.
Papelbon then yielded a run in the ninth before closing out his third save of the year.
Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.
Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.
Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double.
The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park.
CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games.
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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.