Game 96: Red Sox at Athletics - Pedroia, Red Sox seek series win in Oakland

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

When you’ve had over 110 years of existence as baseball club, setting a record of any kind is special. But what the 2013 Boston Red Sox (58-37) have done is remarkable.

Friday night’s win against the Oakland Athletics (54-39) gave the Red Sox 58 wins this season, setting a franchise mark for most wins before the All-Star Break. It was another classic Red Sox game, where they gutted it out late. Can they reach 60 before the break? We’ll find out tonight whether that can become a reality when they go for their 59th win in Oakland. Jon Lester makes his final appearance before the Midsummer Classic. He is 8-5 with a 4.60 ERA and continues to struggle after a 6-0 start to the season. He allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings of work in a loss to the Mariners in his last start. He’d like to bounce back with a solid outing to finish the first part of the season and have something positive to think about on his off days coming up.

Here is tonight’s lineup for the Red Sox (first pitch – 10:05 pm EDT)

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Nava, LF
7. Saltalamacchia, C
8. Iglesias, SS
9. Holt, 3B

Lester, P

A.J. Griffin gets the start for the Athletics tonight. He is 7-6 with a 3.94 ERA and picked up a win in his last start. He went five innings and allowed two runs on five hits against the Royals.

Pedroia starts and finishes
With runners on first and third with one out in the fifth inning and the game tied at 2, the A’s were trying to shift the momentum of last night’s game. A sharp grounder toward the middle was snagged by a diving Dustin Pedroia, who flipped to Jose Iglesias at second to start a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat. The play fired up the Red Sox and Pedroia, who later in the game singled to left to break the tie, scoring two runs and putting the Sox up for good, 4-2. Pedroia once again showed us all why he is considered one of the best second baseman in the game and in Red Sox history.

Streaking and un-streaking
Boston has won four in a row after losing three straight. The Red Sox have won 13 of their last 17 games and now lead the AL East by 4.5 games over the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost 2-1 to Houston Friday. On the other end of the spectrum, Jacoby Ellsbury had his 19-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 night. His career-best streak is 22 games.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.

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