Game 34: Athletics at Red Sox - Porcello, Boston aim for sweep of A's

Ben Whitehead
Contributing writer

Giving up 12 runs in the first two games of a series usually doesn't end well. But when your offense posts 27 of their own, things aren't going quite as bad as you'd think.

The Boston Red Sox reached the 20-win mark, becoming the second team in the American League to do so, with a 13-5 thumping of the Oakland Athletics Tuesday (Seattle won late Tuesday night to give the AL three teams with 20+ wins). On the verge of sweeping the A's, Boston (20-13) sends Rick Porcello to the hill to close things out.

Porcello has been the best pitcher for the Sox this season. He's coming off a hard-luck loss to the Yankees in which he gave up just three runs on five hits in seven innings. Still, he's 5-1 on the year with a 2.95 ERA and is looking to get back in the win column.

That A's hand the ball to Eric Surkamp, who is 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA. Surkamp hasn't pitched for Oakland since April 24, when he allowed six runs on nine hits and four walks in just 4.2 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A Nashville the next day. In Nashville, the lefty started twice and allowed three runs over 12 innings with five hits, 16 strikeouts and six walks.

Here is the Red Sox lineup (first pitch 7:10 pm EDT):

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
6. Chris Young, LF
7. Travis Shaw, 3B
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

P Rick Porcello (5-1, 2.95 ERA)

RSL Notes

Monstah Mashing

Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw each homered over the Green Monster Tuesday night. Betts led off the game with a solo shot into the Monster seats. Three batters latter, Ramirez hit a two-run bomb over the seats in left-center. It was measured at 468 feet, the second longest home run in MLB this year. Shaw, a lefty, found the seats over the green wall with an opposite field dinger.

Three's company
In keeping with the theme of threes, Ramirez, Shaw and Chris Young each had three hits on the night. The Sox have won three straight games and have averaged three home runs over that span (4 Sunday, 2 Monday, 3 Tuesday for a total of 9).

How long will the streak go?
Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-4 with an RBI and extended his streak to 16 games. It's the longest active streak in MLB and tied for the second-longest this season with Manny Machado. Eric Hosmer had an 18-game hitting streak, the longest so far in 2016.

Other notes
The Red Sox lead the AL in run differential with a +38. The White Sox are next at +36 and Seattle is +31. Boston trails four NL teams, led by the Chicago Cubs, who are an astounding +103. St. Louis 47, New York (+45) and Washington (+41) are all ahead of the Red Sox.