Sox Notebook: Ortiz, Buchholz, and Ciriaco

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Sox Notebook: Ortiz, Buchholz, and Ciriaco

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Interleague play may be over, but that doesn't necessarily mean that David Ortiz's playing time at first base is also done.

With Adrian Gonzalez likely to miss a third straight game Sunday with spasms in his lower back, Bobby Valentine broadly hinted thar Ortiz could play first in Gonzalez's absence.

"I haven't approached him with it yet,'' said Valentine, "but I checked his health. I think (Sunday), with the righthander (James Shields), there's a chance of him doing that -- if he's rearing to go.''

Brent Lillibridge will start at first Saturday night.

Valentine was asked about other first base options and cited both utility man Nick Punto and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia as possible choices. Both have played first in the majors.

The Sox had to make a move to get Clay Buchholz on the active roster and optioned Mauro Gomez back to Pawtucket to create an opening.

Gomez had been recalled while the team was without the use of third baseman Will Middlebrooks (hamstring).

Gomez hit .308 with three RBI in 26 at-bats and made his first appearances at third base -- at any level -- since 2009. Gomez started at first in the series opener and was charged with an error.

Second baseman Pedro Ciriaco's start has been historic by some statistical measures.

He's the first Red Sox player to get three or more hits in at least three of his first four games. He also stole a base in each of his last three games, becoming the first Red Sox player ever with least three hits and a stolen base in three straight games.

Finally, he's the first major leaguer to do that since Johnny Damon did it with Kansas City from Aug. 5-7, 2000. The only player to ever accomplish the feat (three hits and a steal) in four games was Hall of Famer Ty Cobb.

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

OAKLAND, Calif. - A five-run ninth inning for the Red Sox that lasted more than a half-hour derailed any chance Eduardo Rodriguez had of getting his first career complete game.

Not that the left-hander was complaining.

After a bitter loss to Oakland a year ago when he allowed just one hit over eight innings, Rodriguez was more than happy with the way things turned out.

Rodriguez earned his second straight win, Mitch Moreland homered in his third consecutive game and Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 12-3 on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"I wanted to go back out there but they hit the ball pretty good in that inning and I know I had to get out of the game," Rodriguez said about the long wait. "I'll take it because we score more runs, I have a chance to win. If every inning's like that, I'll get out of the game after five."

Rodriguez (3-1) allowed three runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"Where he was with the pitch count, it'd be nice for him to go out there for the ninth inning given where he was and how well he was throwing the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But at that point you're up nine, probably about a 35-minute inning, didn't want to take any chances."

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had three hits apiece to power a Red Sox lineup that tallied 15 hits. Every player in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the nine drove in runs.

Chad Pinder homered and drove in two runs for Oakland.

Boston, which hasn't been swept in a four-game series since July 2015, trailed 3-2 before scoring 10 runs over the final five innings.

"It felt we had them on the run a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today."

Pinder went deep in the fourth, his fourth home run in eight games and fifth overall.

The A's committed three errors, giving them a major league-leading 42.

BRADLEY'S DEFENSIVE GEMS

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts gave the A's trouble with his running and defense. Betts scored twice from first base and also made a pair of strong defensive plays. He made a sliding catch on Mark Canha's sinking liner in the eighth and then slammed into the wall after catching Khris' Davis fly to end the inning.

"This place during the daytime plays very difficult," Farrell said. "What Mookie was able to do a couple times in right field, those aren't easy plays. To be able to stay with it, go up against the wall a couple of times, we played very good outfield defense here today."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Brock Holt continues to deal with lingering symptoms from vertigo and isn't yet ready to come off the disabled list, according to Farrell. Likewise, Boston plans to keep third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the minors to get consistent at-bats while recovering from a right knee sprain. ... Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who took the loss Saturday, will start against Texas on Thursday.

Athletics: Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) sat out his fourth straight game but could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Oakland begins a two-game series against Miami. ... Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground before making 15 pitches off the mound. The plan is for the former closer to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday. ... Melvin said the team has applied for an extension on Chris Bassitt's rehab assignment. Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (2-5) faces Texas on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Porcello has lost three of his last four decisions.

Athletics: Following an off day, RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) starts against Miami on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Hahn leads the majors in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.19.