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Game Thread #43: A's versus Red Sox

Oakland seeks 3rd straight victory versus former-Athletics pitcher

Oakland has 4 walk off wins since May 6th
Oakland has 4 walk off wins since May 6th
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

After a string of disappointing road losses to the Rangers and Mariners, the A's have now won two in a row at the Coliseum against the Red Sox, who again failed to yield Chris Sale meaningful run support en route to Oakland's 4th walk-off since May 6th.

Behind Mark Canha's 10th inning home run, the A's improved to a 13-8 record at home while the Red Sox fell to 9-11 away from Fenway Park.

Oakland looks to expand upon their home fortunes as they face another left-hander in Drew Pomeranz. It's the third former-Athletics starter that the A's will have faced this season and the first time that Pomeranz is pitching against Oakland at any point in his 7-year career.

Pomeranz spent two seasons in Oakland, compiling a 10-10 record and a 3.08 ERA / 1.15 WHIP in both starting and relief roles. Although he has a curve ball with exceptional bite that generates a high number of ground-ball outs, his four-seem fastball and a seldom-used cutter both induce higher fly-ball rates than most which has played well for Drew at the Coliseum, where he has a life-time record of 7-2, 3.13 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 69 innings of work.

The A's traded Pomeranz to San Diego following the 2015 season--a trade that returned current A's hero and First Quarter A's MVP Yonder Alonso--where he spent part of one All Star season in the equally cavernous Petco Park. However, since being traded to the Red Sox in 2016, Pomeranz is just 6-8 with a 4.82 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with Boston in parts of two seasons while his 5.29 ERA in 2017 is his worst since being a member of the Rockies in 2013.

Pomeranz has lost in consecutive outings to both Milwaukee and Tampa, failing to reach the 5th inning in each contest. In 7 innings, he has allowed 8 earned runs while opposing hitters are slashing .385/.455 with an 1.185 OPS against him.

He'll face Sean Manaea (1-3, 5.52 ERA), who gets his second start since returning from the disabled list. In his most recent start, he allowed four runs and five walks in a 6-5 loss to the Mariners. The A's will bank on how Manaea rallied, though, as he successfully retired the final 10 Seattle batters he faced.

The current Red Sox lineup is a combined 9-for-12 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs versus Manaea thanks to last year's travesty of a series at Fenway Park.

Jackie Bradley Jr., who robbed Ryon Healy of a potential game-winning home run in the 9th inning last night, will be held out of today's lineup in favor of an outfield featuring Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and former-Athletic, Chris Young, who is 2-for-2 lifetime versus Manaea.

It being the second game in a row against the left-hander (tomorrow's contest also versus a lefty), the A's will maintain a similar lineup with the exception that Mark Canha, who ended last night's game in spectacular fashion, and is slashing .500/.524 with a 1.574 OPS (!) in 21 PAs since May 10th, will be moved up to second in the lineup. He essentially swaps with Adam Rosales, who is hitting .125 with zero walks in his last 17 PAs.

Today's Lineups

Mookie Betts - RF Rajai Davis - CF
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Mark Canha - RF
Xander Bogaerts - SS Jed Lowrie - 2B
Hanley Ramirez - DH Khris Davis - LF
Chris Young - LF Trevor Plouffe - 3B
Andrew Benintendi - CF Ryon Healy - 1B
Josh Rutledge - 1B Chad Pinder - DH
Christian Vazquez - C Josh Phegley - C
Deven Marrero - 3B Adam Rosales - SS
Drew Pomeranz - LHP Sean Manaea - LHP