Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

A's use long ball to beat Red Sox

A's use long ball to beat Red Sox

Hector Velazquez, who was making his Major League Baseball debut for the Sox on the mound, struggled over five innings of work, and Boston's bats couldn't put together a comeback at Oakland Coliseum.

Sonny Gray (1-1) overcame a shaky beginning to get the win in his 100th career start.

"When he's punching guys out, that's the sign that Sonny is Sonny", catcher Stephen Vogt said. "He's an ace and aces go out there and they punch people out". "That's what he did tonight".

Staked to a 2-0 lead before taking the mound in his major league debut, the 28-year-old Velazquez fell behind just four batters into the game when he allowed a two-run homer to Lowrie and a solo shot to Davis for Oakland's first back-to-back homers of the season. The Red Sox have an extremely talented lineup, so this will undoubtedly be Sonny's toughest test so far this season. "The two runs in the sixth, that was kind of a big separation where they were able to create a little more distance".

This was only Gray's fourth start of the year after a strained lat muscle caused him to be shut down early in spring training and miss the first month of the season. "When you're constantly behind coming into your first at-bat, it makes it a little more hard". That's a really good lineup that they have, so just trying to keep them off balance as much as possible. He made only two appearances, going 1-for-1 at the plate with a single and a walk, but had last made an appearance in a game on May 9.

NOTES: The Red Sox designated INF/OF Chase d'Arnaud for assignment, opening a spot on the 25-man roster for RHP Hector Velazquez, who was selected from Triple-A Pawtucket and started against the A's. Price is expected to throw 85 to 90 pitches and could be activated from the DL next week.

- First baseman Yonder Alonso expects to be back within a couple of days after left knee soreness forced him out of Wednesday's game in Seattle. An MRI revealed no structural damage. Jed Lowrie hit a two-run homer and added Khris Davis a solo blast in the first inning.

A's leadoff hitter Rajai Davis had a rough night on the bases.

Boston pulled even in the fourth when Moreland led off with a home run to left-center off Gray, his third blast of the year. After being checked by the trainer, Foster stayed in the game. The Red Sox will throw five-time All-Star Chris Sale on Saturday, former A's pitcher Drew Pomeranz on Saturday and Eduardo Rodriguez in the finale Sunday. The only other player with at least 10 strikeouts in eight straight starts was Pedro Martinez for Boston in 1999. He was 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in five starts for Pawtucket.

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