Red Sox

Gasper: Take 'bubble wrap' off Middlebrooks

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Gasper: Take 'bubble wrap' off Middlebrooks

Chris Gasper joined Sports Tonight to look at where the Sox are at after a 20-day stretch of games.
Gasper was confused about management's decisions regarding rookie Will Middlebrooks.
"The one thing I don't understand is why it seems like Ben Cherington and guys in baseball ops are so against playing Middlebrooks in the outfield."
He believes Middlebrooks should be in the outfield, not high-paid first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
"If you're going to put your 154 million first baseman, who is widely regarded as the slowest baserunner in all of baseball, in right field instead versus that kid, who was a tremendous athlete and is a tremendous athlete, tell me which guy is better suited athletically to covering ground? Take the bubble wrap off the rookie."

The Baseball Show Podcast: How should Red Sox be using Craig Kimbrel?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Baseball Show Podcast: How should Red Sox be using Craig Kimbrel?

Here is The Baseball Show Podcast, brought to you by Twin River Casino.

1:11 - Evan Drellich and Lou Merloni break down the Red Sox most recent loss to the Oakland Athletics and debate how Alex Cora should be using Craig Kimbrel.

7:28 - With Mookie Betts off to a roaring start to the season, Lou and Evan are left wondering if he has reverted to his 2016 form or if he'll fall off as the season progresses.

12:13 - With the weather wreaking havoc on teams' schedules in April, Lou and Evan look at some potential adjustments the league could make to the schedule: less games, more double headers and even longer playoffs.

Khris Davis homers off Price in 8th, A's top Red Sox

Khris Davis homers off Price in 8th, A's top Red Sox

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Khris Davis summed up his deciding home run off Boston lefty David Price in less time than it took for the ball to clear the fence.

"First pitch hacking," Davis said. "That's what happened."

Davis hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, sending the Oakland Athletics over the Red Sox 4-1 on Sunday.

A day after getting no-hit by Sean Manaea, Boston lost back-to-back games for the first time under new manager Alex Cora.

"Our pitching staff will always give us a chance to win. I feel we are capable of scoring runs every night. Obviously, that's not always going to happen. We can't score eight or nine runs every night," Cora said.

The Red Sox had won their first six series this season before dropping two of three at the Coliseum. They still have the best record in the majors at 17-4.

"It's big knowing we can compete with good teams like Boston," Davis said. "We just have to ride the wave out as long as we can. The pitching has been fantastic. Any time the pitching is on, we want to be putting up runs."

Davis had two hits and drove in all four runs for the A's. Marcus Semien and Stephen Piscotty added two hits apiece as Oakland won for the sixth time in seven games.

Semien and Piscotty hit back-to-back singles off Price (2-2) with one out in the eighth. After Jed Lowrie struck out for the third time, Davis lined the first pitch into the seats in left field for his sixth home run.

"Got a good pitch to hit and he hammered it," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's a three-run homer waiting to happen."

Davis also had an RBI single off Price in the first.

"He's very lethal," Semien said of Davis. "He got a pitch he could handle and he didn't wait around. He's hit so many home runs here. That was one of his biggest ones."

Price allowed nine hits and four runs over 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

"I couldn't make the pitch when I needed and that was the ballgame," Price said.

Coming off Manaea's gem, the A's got another strong pitching performance against the hard-hitting Red Sox. Daniel Mengden gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings and Blake Treinen (1-1), Oakland's third reliever, retired five batters.

Treinen tweaked his left knee while fielding Blake Swihart's comebacker but remained in the game and got Christian Vazquez to fly out to end it.

Mitch Moreland had two hits and Brock Holt drove in Boston's lone run.

CHANGING IT UP

Mengden allowed a pair of first-inning singles, then retired 16 of 17 before yielding back-to-back hits in the seventh. The right-hander with the handlebar mustache credited a new reliance on his changeup for the success.

"I probably threw the most changeups I've ever thrown in my life," Mengden said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP Bobby Poyner was activated off the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. He had been out with a left hamstring strain.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (4-0, 1.40) pitches the opener of a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday. He has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings over his previous two starts.

Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill (1-0, 0.00) makes his second start of the season Monday at Texas. It's the first time this season that the A's will leave the West Coast.

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