BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers homered in his fourth straight game and Alex Verdugo hit his first home run in almost two months, helping rookie Josh Winckowski earn his first major league career win as the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 10-1 Wednesday night.
Boston has won 11 of its last 13 games, outscoring opponents 65-27 in that span. The A’s have lost 13 of their last 14 and are in a 6-23 rut.
Winckowski (1-1) was called up from the minors to make his second major league start and pitched five scoreless innings. The 23-year-old righty allowed four hits, struck out three and walked one.
Devers hit a two-run homer, his 16th, in the second inning.
“He’s one of the best hitters in the big leagues,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “The way he acted in spring training, we had a feeling it was going to be something like this, and it’s coming true.”
Verdugo connected for the first time since April 16, a two-run drive in the sixth. He finished with a season-high four RBIs.
“I kind of forgot how it felt,” Verdugo said of his homer. “No really, it felt good, man. Obviously, I knew it’s been a while since I put one over the fence, so to come up to get some extra insurance and to see one leave the yard, was just a big relief, kind of like a monkey off my back.”
James Kaprielian (0-4) gave up six runs on seven hits and six walks in 3 2/3 innings.
“Obviously, ‘Kap’s’ had a few good starts, and we can just put this one in the rearview mirror,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said.
Verdugo had an RBI grounder in the first and singled home another run in the third for a 4-0 lead.
The Red Sox tacked on two more runs in the fourth after Jarren Duran and Devers led off with back-to-back walks. Xander Bogaerts had a sacrifice fly and a single by Verdugo set a single by Trevor Story that Kaprielian threw away.
Back-to-back one-out doubles by J.D. Martinez and Bogaerts and a two-out single by Story added two runs in the eighth.
Pinch-hitter Matt Davidson homered in the sixth off Boston reliever Jake Diekman.
Red Sox: INF/OF Christian Arroyo tested positive and was placed on the COVID-19-related injured list. Duran was called up from the minors to take his place on the roster. … LHP Chris Sale, out all season with a right rib fracture, is expected to throw about 15-20 pitches in a live BP session on Thursday… LHP Josh Taylor, out all season so far with a low back strain, threw live batting practice and did some fielding drills. He is scheduled for another session on Saturday. If all goes well, manager Alex Cora said, Taylor could go out on a rehab assignment next week. … …OF Kiké Hernández, on the IL since June 8 with a right hip flexor strain, ran on Wednesday. … RHPs Garrett Whitlock, on the IL since June 9 with right hip inflammation, and Nathan Eovaldi, on the IL since June 9 with low back inflammation, are progressing, Cora said, but are not scheduled yet for mound work. …OF Rob Refsnyder, who was banged up in his last few games, was not in the starting lineup but was available off the bench.
The Athletics and Red Sox wrap up their season series with an afternoon game. LHP Rich Hill (2-3, 4.38 ERA) is scheduled to start for Boston against RHP Paul Blackburn (5-2, 2.31). Hill earned a win on June 5 against Oakland, giving up one run in six innings. Blackburn took a loss on June 8, his only career appearance against Boston, giving up four runs in four innings.
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