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A’s starting pitching continues to shine in Boston shutout

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The A’s knocked out four home runs and seven hits to defeat the Boston Red Sox 7-0 Monday night, as a Ramon Laureano putout at home allowed the A’s to shut out Boston in the series opener.

Khris Davis, Laureano, and Chad Pinder all smashed dingers against World Series-winning pitcher David Price (L, 0-1, 6.00 ERA), who went six innings and gave up four earned runs off five hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the A’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.

Matt Chapman got the eighth inning started with a solo homer against Heath Hembree. Piscotty and Davis both reached on grounders to third base, Davis on an Rafael Deves throwing error. Kendrys Morales came in to deliver a pinch hit up the middle to bring in Piscotty, making the lead 6-0.

A Pinder base hit up the middle brought in Davis for a 7-0 lead with no outs. It was a tough eighth inning for Hembree, who gave up four base hits in a row and allowed four runs, three of them earned.

Aaron Brooks (W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA) joined Fiers, Estrada and Anderson in the scoreless six innings club. Brooks only gave up two hits and had six strikeouts with a walk.

Brooks said wanted to keep the rhythm going:

“Obviously when the first four go that well you kinda have to keep the roll going, or at least try. Thankful it worked out for us… They aren’t the easiest of lineups to face and keeping them off balance and keeping them guessing is the way to go and it worked out.”

Of his starters, Bob Melvin said:

“They keep pushing each other. It’s a momentum thing, that you see quite often with starting pitchers. The next one wants to go out there and up the ante, that or continue the trend, and Brooks did. For a number five guy against the World Series champions, that’s pretty good effort.”

The only time the Red Sox were close to scoring was in the second inning, when Xander Bogaerts stretched a line drive into right-center into a double. Mitch Moreland hit it to the same spot, and Bogaerts thought he could get another extra base, but he thought wrong, as a rifle throw from Laureano got him at home plate on the fly.

Laureano thought Bogaerts was safe at home and explained his throw to second was sidearm and a hard ball to catch. Brooks was going to back up home when the ball was hit, but he said deep down he knew Laureano would make the out. After a two minute review, the call stood and Bogaerts was out at home.

With a throw to home to save Brooks an earned run, and then a home run at his first at-bat, Laureano was deservedly pleased post-game:

“Our starting pitchers are doing really really good right now. We have a great bullpen but now with the starting pitchers we are in a really good place. We just have to score a couple runs and we know we are going to be fine, especially with our defense too.”

Price’s changeup wasn’t working Monday night, as Davis and Pinder both launched changeups into the seats. Mark Canha walked ahead of Pinder, allowing Pinder’s home run to drive in two runs for a 4-0 A’s lead in the sixth.

Davis now leads the MLB in RBIs (9) and home runs (5) so far this season.

Fernando Rodney used 17 pitches to end the ninth, striking out two and walking one.

Melvin said:

“We played them well last year, it’s a similar team this year. … They are a really good team, one of the elite teams in the league if not the best, so we have to play well.”

And they did.

On Deck

Mike Fiers (1-1, 5.00 ERA) faces LHP Chris Sale (0-1, 21.00 ERA) on Tuesday night at 7:07 p.m.

Notes

The A’s have 12 home runs in the first seven games and are 3 away from the most in Oakland A’s history. … Jurickson Profar snapped his 0-for-15 streak with a single in the fourth.

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