A's cool off Red Sox with 5-2 win at Fenway behind Butler and Sears

BOSTON — Lawrence Butler hit a two-run double to back a solid outing from JP Sears as the Oakland Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Oakland improved to 1-4 this season against the Red Sox, who had won seven of eight overall. Butler finished with two hits and a walk.

“It builds confidence, for sure,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “I was thinking about it during the game: Those two balls he hit, if you go back two weeks ago, three weeks ago, he was taking those for strikes. Those two balls he hit tonight were missiles, and a huge momentum swing in the game.”

Nick Pivetta (4-6) took the loss despite striking out eight consecutive batters, tying a Red Sox record for the second time. He also fanned eight straight Detroit Tigers on May 30.

The only other Red Sox pitcher to accomplish the feat was Roger Clemens, when he whiffed a record 20 total hitters against Seattle on April 29, 1986.

“It’s good. I’m always grateful to be in that position and to be able to do things like that,” Pivetta said. “I just didn’t throw strikes in the third inning.”

Pivetta went 6 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out 10, reaching double digits for the 15th time in his career and third this season.

Sears (6-7) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.

“Definitely not the start I wanted,” said Sears, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first. “But, got out of it good and felt good after. It just got a little sweaty there in the first inning and some balls got away from me. But yeah, I was super happy with how I got out of there, get through that and get through the game. Super thrilled to be out there in the sixth.”

Mason Miller, Oakland’s rookie All-Star, got his 15th save with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth.

Oakland scored three runs in the third. Max Schuemann and Miguel Andujar singled before Brent Rooker and Shea Langeliers drew consecutive two-out walks from Pivetta, forcing in a run. Butler’s double made it 3-0.

“That inning, he lost it. Couldn’t throw strikes,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We put ourselves in a bad spot. But overall, the eight strikeouts, or whatever it was, after that he found it and he was really good. Toward the end, we pushed him there. But overall, a good one. But in that inning, mechanics or whatever it was, he was off.”

The A’s added a run in the seventh when JJ Bleday’s two-out double scored Schuemann. They got another run in the eighth against right-hander Josh Winckowski as Rooker led off with a ground-rule double followed by a single from Langeliers and a walk to Butler, setting up Tyler Nevin’s sacrifice fly.

Rob Refsnyder hit a leadoff homer for Boston in the sixth. Tyler O’Neill had an RBI infield single in the seventh before All-Star slugger Rafael Devers grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning.


Red Sox: RHP Chris Martin, sidelined with right elbow inflammation, played catch for the first time since going on the injured list July 4. … RHP Bryan Mata, on the IL with a right hamstring strain, pitched two innings for Triple-A Worcester, giving up three runs and two hits with four strikeouts.


The teams wrap up their six-game season series Thursday night. RHP Luis Medina (2-3, 4.37 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Athletics against All-Star RHP Tanner Houck (7-6, 2.68).


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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