Athletics-Red Sox Preview
The Red Sox, though, might have a challenge as they try to snap that eight-game series losing streak as they'll face a red-hot A.J. Griffin in Monday night's opener at Fenway Park.
Monday will mark one week since the marathon bombings, and the Red Sox have tried to do their part to lift up their city's spirits. In their first home game since that tragedy, Boston (12-6) beat Kansas City 4-3 on Saturday but couldn't keep their momentum going in a Sunday doubleheader.
The Red Sox blew leads in both games, including one that was a makeup for Friday's postponement.
In his first two at-bats during the opener of that doubleheader, Jonny Gomes used a bat with the words "Boston Strong" and the names of the four people killed in the bombings and its aftermath. He planned to auction off the bats and two others for charity.
"I've got four (bats). Two more coming and I'll have the whole team sign them, and then I'll auction them off and hopefully raise some funds for where it's needed," Gomes told the team's official website.
After missing their chance to extend a seven-game win streak, the Red Sox will try to get back on track against Oakland (12-7), which struggled at the plate in the opening series of its six-game road trip. The A's headed into Tampa Bay with the AL's best record, but hit .179 and went 3 for 25 with runners in scoring position while being outscored 17-4 in the sweep.
Oakland hit three singles and was 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in Sunday's 8-1 loss.
"You just move on. Don't dwell on it. You've got to take your losses, take your lumps just like you take your wins,'' first baseman Brandon Moss said. "It would be stupid for us to get down on ourselves after three losses, especially when they pitched as well as they did."
The A's have hit .356 with runners in scoring position and .297 overall during their eight straight wins against Boston, their longest streak in the series since 1932. Oakland has also outscored the Red Sox 54-15 during that run, and Griffin (2-0, 2.25 ERA) will try to extend it Monday.
The right-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his three starts. He allowed two runs over six innings and struck out a season-high eight Tuesday as the A's beat Houston 4-3.
Griffin is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his two starts against Boston but has never pitched at Fenway. He might not have a problem as he's 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA in his first eight road starts in the majors.
Felix Doubront (1-0, 4.50), meanwhile, will try to end his struggles against Oakland. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 12.86 ERA in his two starts versus the A's - his worst showing against any AL opponent - but heads into this outing with some momentum after earning his first win of the season.
Doubront gave up two runs and four hits over five innings while striking out seven in a 7-2 victory in Cleveland on Tuesday.