Red Sox

Pomeranz, Benintendi lead Red Sox to 6-2 victory over A's

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Pomeranz, Benintendi lead Red Sox to 6-2 victory over A's

BOSTON -- Drew Pomeranz knew it was likely the last batter he'd face. He figured he had to make one of his best pitches.

Pomeranz threw six innings of one-run ball, finishing by striking out Matt Olson with the bases loaded, and Andrew Benintendi had three hits and drove in three runs to lead the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox past the Oakland Athletics 6-2 on Thursday.

With two outs, a full count and the game tied at 1, Pomeranz got Olson swinging on a high, 92 mph fastball.

"In that big situation, making a big pitch is a huge deal when you can wiggle your way out of a jam," Pomeranz said. "He wasn't chasing the curveball. I got 3-2 on him and I gave all that I have left to make one good pitch and he swung. Luckily, he missed it and that's what I wanted."

The added reward was that his teammates took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning, setting him up for the win.

"Another quality start on his part," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "There was a number of big moments in this game and for Drew himself, probably the last pitch he threw today, the strikeout to Olson, that was going to be his last pitch of the day."

Pomeranz (16-5) allowed five hits, walking three and striking out five to raise his record to 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last six starts in Fenway Park. He also tied teammate Chris Sale and two others for the AL lead in victories.

Christian Vazquez hit a solo homer and Mitch Moreland added an RBI double for the Red Sox, who have won six of eight. Boston began the day with a three-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees.

Ryon Healy hit a solo homer for the A's, who fell for just the second time in eight games. The loss assured Oakland (64-82) of a losing record for the third straight season.

"We had some opportunities, and we had a couple base running mistakes early in the game that cost us," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Benintendi doubled high off the Green Monster, chasing Daniel Gossett (4-9) and scoring Dustin Pedroia to make it 2-1 in the sixth.

Trailing 1-0, Boston tied it when Vazquez's drive completely left Fenway over the Monster seats leading off the fifth.

The A's had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning on Josh Phegley's sacrifice fly.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: OF Khris Davis left the team to be with his girlfriend for the expected birth of their first child.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (left elbow inflammation) was activated off the 10-day disabled list. He had been sidelined since July 28. Farrell said the plan is for him to work out of the bullpen. ... Farrell inserted 2B Pedroia into the DH spot to get him off his troublesome left knee that landed him on the DL for nearly two weeks last month and sat struggling regular DH Hanley Ramirez.

STREAK CONTINUES

Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 27 games against Oakland. During the streak, which started July 14, 2013, he's batting .421.

FIRST IMPRESSION

Gossett gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings in his first career Fenway start.

"It was awesome. Great environment, tons of people. Historic park," he said. "I got to be a part of something special. Not everybody can say that they pitched at Fenway. I got to sign the (Green) Monster, do everything. So that was special."

RUNNING MISTAKES

The A's had two runners cut down on the bases - Chad Pinder in the third and Mark Canha in the fifth - both on cutoff plays on balls hit to the outfield.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (0-1, 7.07 ERA) is set to make his first career start against Philadelphia on Friday when the A's face RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (3-5, 4.84) and the Phillies.

Red Sox: LHP Sale (16-7, 2.76 ERA) is in line to start against Tampa Bay RHP Matt Andriese (5-3, 4.46) Friday when the Red Sox open their final road trip of the regular season. It's scheduled to be the Rays' first home game since Hurricane Irma hit the area last weekend.

How would Manny Machado feel playing for Yankees or Red Sox?

How would Manny Machado feel playing for Yankees or Red Sox?

WASHINGTON D.C. — It's an annual rite for any All-Star player who may be traded: on the media day ahead of the Midsummer Classic, face a bombardment of questions about that possibility, or in the case of Manny Machado, virtual inevitability. Destinations, desires and so forth.

In the case of Machado, the topics are so compelling because he’s a potential $300 million talent who could swing a pennant race. No one else so impactful is expected to be moved this year’s trade deadline.

Machado actually had a brief lull in that line of questioning Monday with reporters huddled around his table. Quickly, he was asked how the silence felt.

“Amazing,” he said.

He had just finished explaining how much of his life is up in the air.

“You just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Machado said. “There’s a lot of things — this game’s already hard enough as it is. To go out there and not know where you’re going to be tomorrow, it’s kind of tough.”

The chances of the Red Sox acquiring Machado are very slim, if not nonexistent. 

Reports make a National League landing seem more likely for Machado: the Phillies, Dodgers or Brewers.

But the bottom line is Machado would not fill Boston’s largest need. Relief help has been an area of interest for a while. Now, with Eduardo Rodriguez out until perhaps September, rotation help may be on the menu as well. Even if the Sox did for some reason crave another position player, Machado’s cost in prospects would probably be too high for the Sox’ thin farm system.

But we can play fantasy baseball for a moment. J.D. Martinez, sitting at his own table on Monday, played along.

 What would Machado bring, were he to land on the Red Sox?

“I mean any time you get a bat and a player like that in a lineup, I mean — it can’t hurt,” Martinez said, laughing.

Martinez was asked for a sales pitch.

“Come and hit balls off the Monster like he does against us all the time,” Martinez said.

On the chance Machado does end up in the AL East though — the Yankees certainly have the prospect wherewithal, if they so chose — Machado acknowledged that a transition to a rival would be weird.

“Weird? Who knows? Probably so, yeah,” Machado said. “But, you know, everyone knows that it’s just part of the business, part of everything. You just never know where things are going to happen.”

Machado and the Red Sox haven’t always been the best of friends. Asked if he was cool with the Sox after what transpired in 2017, Machado indicated the only time he harbors ill will towards them is on the field.

“Cool with them? Once I step on that field. I’m trying to beat ‘em,” Machado said. “I’m trying to beat ‘em. I’m just trying to go out there and play baseball.”

If Machado has a preference to be in a big market, he did not let on Monday.

“They’re a winning team,” Machado said when asked about the Brewers. “They want to win, they’re serious. They have a good group over there. They made a lot of pushes his offseason and they’re going to continue to do whatever they can to try to get a ring.”

“I mean I’m here to play baseball, I’m not here to sightsee. I’m here to play baseball, do my job and go home and sleep and get ready for tomorrow.”

He’ll do a form of sightseeing in D.C., though. Machado is batting behind Aaron Judge in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

“I’m little like a mini-me going in there after that,” Machado said. “That guy’s a beast. But it’s going to be nice to actually see him from the other side. Be right behind him, see his swing. I know he has a great swing, see him from shortstop and this base.”

Machado made waves in New York because he “liked” a photoshopped image of himself in a Yankees uniform that was posted on Instagram. He told reporters Monday that was a mistake.

But has he thought about playing for the Yanks?

“You know honestly, I really don’t, to be honest,” Machado said. “I think about putting this uniform every day. I can’t think of anything else.

"Once I put on this jersey, I’m an Oriole man."

Not for long, likely.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

J.D. Martinez open to restructuring contract with Red Sox

J.D. Martinez open to restructuring contract with Red Sox

J.D. Martinez seems to like life as a member of the Red Sox.

After wrapping up an incredible first half to his inagural season in Boston, hitting .328 with 29 home runs and 82 RBI's, Martinez said he is open to restructuring his contract he signed in February. 

Martinez signed a five-year $110 million deal with Boston this past winter, including player opt-outs after the second and third years of the contract. 

Eliminating the opt-outs would secure the slugger for the entirety of his contract, something the Red Sox might want to consider given his production so far. 

Conversations on that front won't happen until after the season, so the league-best Red Sox can focus on winning another World Series with one of the hottest bats in baseball in their lineup. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE