BY STEVEN LUKE
After opening the home stand with his best outing of the season Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Daniel Mengden closed it out against the Boston Red Sox with another solid effort in a pitching duel with David Price. It was a 1-1 matchup between Mengden and the A’s bullpen against David Price for seven innings before the A’s offense finally got to Price in a big way when Khris Davis launched a first pitch fastball into the left field stair well to put the A’s up 4-1 in the eighth inning. The score held up as Blake Treinen got the win after pitching the final 1.2 innings.
Coming off his best start Mengden had a lot going against him having to follow a no-hitter the night before and pitching against the best offense in baseball, but he said it was more of a positive than a negative. “What Sean (Manaea) did last night was remarkable and I tried to follow it up as best I could,” Mengden said. “Having something to follow up on gives us a kind of motivation. Not necessarily competition, but more so just getting out there and going at it.”
The game started out well for the Athletics. Shortstop Marcus Semien, leading off for the third day in a row, started the game off for the A’s with a double and later scored on Davis’ single. At that point it was the fourth straight A’s run that was scored by Semien after scoring all three runs the night before.“That’s what you want your leadoff guy to do, come around and touch home plate as many times as he can. He got on base and was a serious factor in these last two games,” Melvin said.
Semien echoed Melvin’s statement. He said it doesn’t matter to him where he hits in the lineup, but leading off does have its upside. “I don’t care where I hit really, but it’s good to see what the pitchers got right away and let the boys know what he’s got,” Semien said.
Semien also scored the second run of the game as the first man to touch home on Davis’ three-run blast. That made it five consecutive runs scored before Piscotty and Davis crossed the plate. The home run gave Davis all four RBIs in the game, and it wasn’t anything special he did against Price on the bomb. He said, “First pitch, hacking,” about his home run at bat. “That was it.”
The win put the A’s at .500 for the first time since they were 1-1 following the second game of the season and raised the team’s morale as well. “It’s a huge confidence boost here knowing that we can do that against a really great team and just being able to put up a (series) victory against them is huge for our confidence,” Davis said.
The A’s will take that confidence on the road for six games in Texas, the first three against the Rangers, before spending the weekend in Houston then wrapping up the trip with three in Seattle. Tomorrow night’s matchup will feature Matt Moore for the Rangers (1-3, 5.59) against Trevor Cahill for the A’s in his second appearance of the season with a 1-0 record and a clean ERA.
Notes: Jed Lowrie went 0-4 snapping his seven game hit streak.
The Red Sox lost back-to-back games for the first time in baseball.