It seemed like James Kaprielian was going to have a relatively short first career start for the Oakland Athletics against the Boston Red Sox. Yet sometimes looks are deceiving.
He gave up a lead off double to Marwin Gonzalez and walked Alex Verdugo. This prompted Sean Murphy to go out and calm Kaprielian down. J.D. Martinez then singled and the Red Sox were in business with the bases loaded.
Kaprielian struck out Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers who homered in the first game of the series popped out. The A’s pitcher only needed one more out to get out of the inning unscathed. Unfortunately he walked Chrisian Vazquez to bring in a run. He then struck Hunter Renfroe to end the inning.
He got better as the game progressed. He got his first three up and three down inning in the third inning and he only needed six pitches to do it. The third time through the lineup did get a little stressful though. Gonzalez walked, Verdugo appeared hit a ball right back to Kaprielian for what looked like a double play, yet the throw got rushed putting runners on first and third with no outs. After Martinez fell behind in the count he reached for a slider and grounded to the pitcher who was able to underhand the throw to Murphy which ended up with Gonzalez getting in a run down and getting tagged out by Matt Chapman.
More importantly for the A’s and Kaprielian no runners advanced. Bogaerts struck out and Devers swung at ball four and got thrown out by Murphy to end the Red Sox threat. Lou Trivino got the eighth inning and things got interesting with one out. Bogaerts walked, Devers then hit a double to put runners on second and third. Vazquez nearly lined out yet the ball fell in front of Jed Lowrie who threw to Matt Olson for one out and Olson alertly threw home to get Bogaerts out on a close play at home to end the inning with a double play.
Jake Diekman got the save as he got Renfroe to fly out to deep right field and then he struck out Jonathan Arauz and Michael Chavis. The final line for Kaprielian was five innings pitched, six strikeouts and three walks, the one earned run and he allowed four hits.
For the A’s offensively Chapman got the offense started with a double with one out in the second inning. He got thrown out by Renfroe trying to get to third. Stephen Piscotty singled and scored on a double by Murphy. Mitch Moreland then struck out to end the inning.
Oakland added two more runs in the fifth. Moreland singled and Elvis Andrus doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Mark Canha struck out and Jed Lowrie grounded out to short allowing Moreland to score and Andrus to get to third.
Vazquez tried to catch Andrus off-guard by quickly throwing to third. He got back in time. Yet his antics at third distraced Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez that he balked which allowed a run to score. Giving the A’s a 3-1 lead.
In the sixth Olson homered to give the Athletics a three run cushion and eventually final score.
Note: Ramon Laureano got ejected by Ryan Wills after disagreeing with a called third strike.