Hernández helps Red Sox beat A’s 3-2 in 10 with bat, glove

Baseball

Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez tags out Oakland Athletics’ Seth Brown at home plate during the 10th inning of a baseball game Friday, July 2, 2021, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kiké Hernández drove in the go-ahead run with a broken-bat single in the 10th inning and then made a tremendous defensive play to throw out a runner at home plate from center field as the Boston Red Sox held off the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Friday night for their eighth straight win.

All-Star slugger Rafael Devers had two hits and an RBI for Boston. Alex Verdugo added a run-scoring single.

“The way we play defense in the outfield is elite,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “I know a lot of people had their doubts coming into the season, but these three guys are playing elite defense. One of the best outfields in the big leagues, if not the best. It wasn’t deep enough and (Hernandez) getting behind the ball was the key.”

Hernández was 0 for 3 before before hitting the first pitch from Lou Trivino (3-3) softly into right field to drive in Michael Chavis as pieces of his shattered bat flew around the infield.

Chavis made the final out of the ninth and began the 10th at second base.

The A’s had runners at the corners with no outs in the bottom of the 10th against Adam Ottavino when a charging Hernández made a running catch of Sean Murphy’s fly to shallow center and fired a strong throw to get Seth Brown sliding into home.

“I didn’t think he was going to send him,” Hernández said. “In my baseball clock, I came in a lot and wanted to make sure I made a good throw.”

Ottavino finished it off for his sixth save.

“Their guy made a great throw,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “A well-pitched game on both sides. It comes down to a couple of inches again.”

The Red Sox won after closer Matt Barnes (4-2) allowed Elvis Andrus’ tying home run leading off the ninth, his fourth blown save in 21 chances.

Jed Lowrie homered for the A’s. Oakland has lost three of four.

The Red Sox made their first visit to Oakland in 820 days a memorable one and improved to 4-0 in extra-inning games on the road.

The breakdown by Barnes in the ninth spoiled a tremendous outing by starter Eduardo Rodríguez. The left-hander pitched one-hit ball over six scoreless innings with six strikeouts and two walks in his best outing this season.

“His stuff is there,” Cora said. “The pitch mix has been outstanding and you can see it.”

Devers doubled in Xander Bogaerts in the fourth when the ball sailed past a diving Tony Kemp in left field. Verdugo’s single in the fourth made it 2-0.

Lowrie homered off Garrett Whitlock in the seventh.

A’s starter Frankie Montas allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

GLOVE WORK

Kemp’s gaffe in the fourth overshadowed a pair of outstanding defensive plays he made. Kemp made a running catch in foul territory in the first, reaching back with his glove to grab the ball as he crashed into a padded wall near the A’s bullpen. He turned in another defensive gem in the seventh to take a hit away from Hernández just before running into the outfield wall.

ATTENDANCE BOOST

The game drew a season-high 32,304 fans to the Oakland Coliseum for Fireworks Night. That’s more than the A’s had in their previous six home games combined (29,513).

ROSTER MOVES

The A’s acquired minor league left-handed reliever Sam Moll from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash. Moll pitched for Oakland in 2017, his only season in the majors when he made 11 appearances. Moll had a 5.82 ERA in 21 games with Triple-A Reno this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Christian Arroyo (bruised right knee) will play a pair of games with Triple-A Worcester and could rejoin the team for a three-game road series against the Angels. “We’ll make a decision tomorrow but most likely he’ll be there Monday with us if everything goes accordingly,” Cora said. … Kevin Plawecki (left hamstring) ran before the game but isn’t ready to come off the injured list, although Cora said the backup catcher may not need to go on a rehab assignment.

Athletics: OF Stephen Piscotty (sprained left wrist) will play two rehab games with Class A Stockton before possibly coming off the IL.

UP NEXT

Athletics LHP Cole Irvin (6-7, 3.64 ERA) is coming off an unbeaten June when he had three wins in five starts. Irvin’s only prior appearance against the Red Sox came as a reliever in 2019. Boston RHP Garrett Richards (4-5. 4.96) pitched six scoreless innings and beat Oakland on May 18 but is 1-3 since.

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