Athletics

A's hit three home runs, still can't complete sweep of Red Sox

A's hit three home runs, still can't complete sweep of Red Sox

BOX SCORE

BOSTON -- Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer, J.D. Martinez added a two-run shot and the Boston Red Sox avoided their first series sweep this season with a 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

The win also prevented Boston from matching its season-high losing streak of three games.

Chris Sale (4-1) gave up just two runs and two hits in five innings, striking out nine and walking four - his most base on balls since also allowing four on August 31, 2016.

Craig Kimbrel, the fourth reliever, got the final three outs for his 12th save.

Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer, and Matt Joyce and Matt Olson each hit a solo shot for the Athletics, who won the first two games and finished the season series by winning four of six.

Trevor Cahill (1-2) gave up three runs to the first four batters he faced, but held the Red Sox scoreless the rest his five innings.

Coming off a career-tying 15-strikeout performance over nine innings in his previous start, Sale struggled with his command on a chilly, misty evening and was lifted after 102 pitches.

Martinez's homer into the center-field seats highlighted a three-run first. Hanley Ramirez had a run-scoring grounder before Martinez's drive into the first section of the bleachers to the right of the Green Monster.

Bogaerts' homer completely left Fenway Park over the Monster and made it 6-2 in the sixth.

Semien's drive also left Fenway over the Monster.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: Cahill (right shoulder impingement) was reinstated from the 10-day DL before the game and outfielder Jake Smolinski was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. "When you don't play for an extended period-of-time, get some at-bats, you don't feel comfortable," manager Bob Melvin said.

Red Sox: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (recovering from offseason left knee surgery) is expected to resume his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. With the PawSox rained out Tuesday and a morning game Wednesday, Pedroia was in Boston. Manager Alex Cora said they'd find somewhere for him to play if expected rain comes this weekend. "He needs his repetitions," Cora said. "We'll find innings."

ROAD WOES

Cahill hasn't picked up a win on the road - start or relief - since a victory at Colorado on August 20, 2016, a span of 24 games.

WHAT A CATCH

A's right fielder Stephen Piscotty made a running catch before tumbling headfirst over a short wall down the line. The play was overturned after replay review.

QUICK START

Boston third baseman Rafael Devers played in his 100th major league game before his 22nd birthday, only one of three Red Sox players to do that in the last 50 years. The others are: Bogaerts and former right fielder Dwight Evans.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Andrew Triggs (3-1, 5.31 ERA) is slated to start the opener of a four-game series on Thursday in Toronto.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (3-4, 4.89) is line to pitch Thursday's opener of a four-game series against Baltimore. The game is a makeup from the Patriots' Day rainout.

Kyler Murray recreates iconic Bo Jackson photo, and A's properly react

kylerimprint.jpg
Kyler Murray / Twitter

Kyler Murray recreates iconic Bo Jackson photo, and A's properly react

Imagine being compared to Bo Jackson.

Yes -- the Bo Jackson.

The legend who dominated in both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. He was selected by the Royals in the 1986 MLB Draft and in the same year was the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. No big deal.

Bo played for the Royals, White Sox and Angels across eight seasons, earning All-Star honors in 1989, and he even was in MVP talks. In the NFL, he spent four seasons on the Raiders and even led the league three different times in longest rushing attempts.

How can you mimic that? Well, you can't, but you can pose like Bo. Just ask Kyler Murray.

He was the ninth overall pick by the A’s in this year’s MLB Draft and now is the starting quarterback at Oklahoma after backing up Baker Mayfield last year. So, the correlation is rather similar, but check out the young dual athlete pose like the legendary Jackson to mirror an iconic photo:

It's like looking at a reflection, right?

The A's had some fun with it, too, bringing recently crowned AL Manager of the Year Bob Melvin into the conversation about their young prospect.

Because, after all, BoMel knows ...

Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?

Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?

No free agent made himself more money this postseason than right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.

The 28-year-old had a respectable regular season, going 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. His career numbers also are just decent: 44-53, 4.16 ERA, 1.35 WHIP.

But in 22 1/3 innings this postseason, Eovaldi allowed just four earned runs for an ERA of 1.61, helping the Red Sox win a World Series title.

Eovaldi's playoff heroics turned him into one of the hottest commodities of the offseason. He earned just $2 million in each of the last two seasons, but he's now projected to land a multiyear contract at around $15 million per season.

The A's obviously need starting pitching help -- executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane already has said as much. But spending big bucks on a sexy free agent target isn't exactly their MO.

Eovaldi would have been a shrewd signing for around $8 million per year, but $15 million is a pretty steep price to pay off one great month. Before this season, Eovaldi hadn't recorded an ERA under 4 since 2013. His high WHIP and low swing-and-miss rate also are concerns.

For the type of money Eovaldi is expected to get, the A's would be better off pursuing top-end starters such as Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel, both of whom are expected to earn around $20 million per year. And really, what's an extra $5 million at that point?

Otherwise, Oakland probably should use that $15 million to sign multiple pitchers, including their own free agents.

Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Thursday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.

Will Phillies be in the mix for Nate Eovaldi?
How Eovaldi set himself up for big payday
How does Eovaldi fit the White Sox?
Will Giants take risk with Eovaldi?