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Game #39: A’s blitzed by Red Sox to fall short of sweep

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Oakland still won the series!

Boston Red Sox vs Oakland Athletics Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Two outta three ain’t bad!

That’s what the Oakland A’s settled for in their road series win over the Boston Red Sox, after losing the finale Thursday by an 8-1 margin to miss the chance for a sweep at Fenway Park.

*** Click here to revisit tonight’s Game Thread! ***

This game was over as quickly as it began. A’s starter Sean Manaea got blitzed from his very first batter, allowing a parade of hard contact that ended in a homer and a three-run 1st inning. It happened again in the 2nd, with another dinger and another three-spot. When Boston loaded the bases again in the 3rd with nobody out, the southpaw finally got the hook, followed by the decent fortune of only one of those runners later coming around to score.

  • Manaea: 2+ ip, 7 runs, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 2 HR, 10 hits, 47 pitches, 98.7 mph EV

Hey, everyone has a bad day. Manaea is still having a good year overall and has been strong more often than not. This is a tough lineup and a tough park, where he’s struggled before. His career ERA at Fenway rose from 13.14 to now 15.70 in four starts, and this isn’t even his career-high run total there — he’s done eight, and another game with seven. Go get ‘em next time.

Yikes

On the bright side, Deolis Guerra provided another bullpen-saving performance in long relief. He entered into Manaea’s jam in the 3rd, and within two pitches he’d induced a double play to settle things down, albeit at the expense of a run. Four pitches later he got a flyout to end it. When you’ve got the bases loaded and nobody out and the bullpen entering in the 3rd, you’ll take one run on six pitches.

Guerra then breezed through two more innings, retiring six of his next seven batters. It’s the second time this year that he’s worked three innings in a contest, and his fifth multi-inning appearance.

  • Guerra: 3 ip, 0 runs (1-of-3 inherited scored), 3 Ks, 0 BB, 1 hit, 36 pitches, 89.8 mph EV

By this point, the A’s lineup hadn’t produced anything, nor even hit much of anything hard. The first time through the lineup they scattered two hits, and the second time through they scattered two walks. The 6th inning brought a glimmer of hope, as they loaded the bases with one out, but Matt Chapman grounded into a double play to end it.

After missing that chance, the rest of the evening felt like a mere formality. Adam Kolarek pitched the bottom of the 6th and induced five weak batted balls, barely over 80 mph on average with nothing remotely hard, but one of them blooped in for a lucky double and another one led to a throwing error by Chapman to plate an unearned run. If you want to know how Kolarek’s year is going, that’s the second time that multi-Platinum Glove winner Chapman has made an error behind him in the span of 43 batters faced.

In the 7th, the A’s had a runner thrown out at the plate, because why not get it all out in one night.

But Reymin Guduan pitched two scoreless innings of mopup! And Oakland got an RBI groundout in the 8th from Matt Olson to avoid a shutout! The little things in life.

Series win

You know what you call it when you beat a team twice but then get hammered 8-1? A series win. In this case, on the road against a big-budget division leader. Today sucked, but the last three days were pretty good overall. Two outta three wins you most postseason series.