Mitch Moreland homered and drove in another run on a sacrifice fly after a lucky hop off the second base bag moved the runners along and Boston beat Oakland 7-3 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep for the previously struggling World Series champions.
The Red Sox already trailed 1-0 when Rafael Devers singled leading off the second inning and Michael Chavis bounced a perfect double-play grounder up the middle. But the ball hit the base and eluded second baseman Chad Pinder, going into center field and allowing Devers to take third.
Moreland followed with a deep sacrifice fly to tie the score, then hit a solo homer over the Green Monster in the fourth to give Boston the lead for good. Marcus Walden (4-0) relieved Red Sox starter Hector Velázquez after two innings and pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing one hit.
Mike Fiers (2-3) gave up three runs and five hit in five innings for Oakland, which has lost six in a row starting a nine-game trip.
The Red Sox, who started last season 17-2 en route to a franchise record 108 victories and a fourth championship in 15 years, fell to 3-9 after losing the home opener and were seven games under .500 and 7½ games out of first place on April 16. They have won eight of 12 since.
After Moreland made it 2-1 in the fourth with his ninth homer, Boston added one run in the fifth on Mookie Betts’ sacrifice fly. The Red Sox loaded the bases again in the sixth before Tzu-Wei Lin singled in one run and Andrew Benintendi singled in a pair.
Christian Vázquez homered off Ryan Dull to lead off the eighth to make it 7-1. Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg allowed doubles to Matt Chapman, Khris Davis and Pinder in the ninth inning, leading to two runs.
The Red Sox had the potential for more runs in the second with runners on first and second, one out and one run in on Moreland’s sacrifice fly. Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to load the bases, but Chavis was held up at third.
With Lin at the plate, Fiers threw a fastball that went off the top of Josh Phegley’s glove, and Chavis took off for home. But the ball bounced off the backstop right back to the catcher, who shuffled back to home plate to tag the sliding runner. Lin struck out to end the inning.
The Red Sox swept a team for the first time at home. They won the season series against Oakland 4-3; the A’s had won it in each of the past two seasons. … Oakland entered the game hitting.159 on the road trip and had only seven hits. … Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts had a day off after playing in 20 of the first 30 games. “We’ve been pushing him,” manager Alex Cora said. “After the rest today, he’ll probably play the whole road trip.”… Oakland 1B Kendrys Morales went 0-for-17 in the series and has two hits in his last 39 at-bats.
Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia is heading to Double-A Portland to begin a rehab assignment for his left knee injury. The 2008 AL MVP missed all but three games on the disabled list last season and lasted just six games this season before going on the injured list.
Athletics: Begin a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. LHP Brett Anderson (3-2) will face RHP Joe Musgrave (1-2).
Red Sox: LHP David Price (1-2) will start against the White Sox in Chicago on Thursday night.