Four Real? Red Sox Bats Wake Up with Pedroia Slam vs Athletics 5-2-14

Dustin Pedroia hit his 100th career homerun in Grand Style
to take the first game of the series versus the A's.
Boston, Ma- Clay Buchholz earned a quality start for the Red Sox Friday night, going 6 1/3 innings and only giving up three hits while striking out five for his second win of the season. Boston's defense was solid, highlighted by a Jackie Bradley catch late in the game to save two runs, and their offense was able to collect 11 hits in the night. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:

1) Bottom of the second inning and Boston gets on the board first. Grady Sizemore knocks one off the wall for a Green Monster double and then the hot hitting AJ Pierzynski follows up with a hard hit ball towards the third base hole. Josh Donaldson stretches and dives to his left but all he can do is deflect the ball into the outfield. The redirection gives more time for Sizemore to round third and score. After Will Middlebrooks strikes out, Jackie Bradley takes a 2-0 fastball into the gap in left field to score Pierzynski. 2-0 Red Sox.

2) Top of the third inning, and Oakland scratches back. John Jaso waits until the count is full and then smacks a triple into right field to begin the inning. Eric Sogard strikes out and Coco Crisp pops up, so Buchholz is one out away from avoiding trouble. With Jed Lowrie up, Buchholz throws an errant ball to Pierzynski and it gets by him, scoring Jaso to cut the Red Sox lead in half. 2-1 Red Sox.

3) Bottom of the sixth inning, and Boston finally cashes in with men on base. With Dan Otero pitching, Xander Bogaerts and Pierzynski single, and then Bradley walks to load the bases. Ryan Cook takes over for Otero, but he can not fare any better, as Dustin Pedroia takes an 0-2 hanging slider into the first row of the Green Monster for a grand slam and his 100th career homerun. Pedey is all smiles as he rounds first base. The Nation breathes a sigh of relief as the Sox take a 6-1 lead.

4) Oakland gets their bats going in the top of the eighth against the struggling reliever Edward Mujica. Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson single to start the inning, and with one out, Yoenis Cespedes steps to the plate. He swings at an 0-1 slider and hits it a mile to deep center field. You can tell that the moment the ball is hit, Bradley is backpedaling to see if he can catch it. Bradley reaches the base of the wall just before the ball does, and catches the ball at shoulder height. His momentum carries him into the wall and he then recovers to throw a strike to Pedroia. Pedey chucks the ball in a hurry to Mike Napoli at first to double off Donaldson, who had slipped as he returned to first. Crisis averted, Sox still lead 6-1.

Boston tacked on another run in the eighth inning and they cruised with the 7-1 win over the AL West leaders. Tomorrow afternoon, Boston returns to Fenway when they give the ball to Jon Lester. Tommy Milone toes the rubber for Oakland for the 1:35pm start.

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