Red Sox flip script, use errors to knock off A's

Red Sox flip script, use errors to knock off A's

BOSTON -- The Red Sox shook off one of their sloppiest losses of the year with a crisp performance on Friday, downing the Athletics, 4-2, in the opener of a three-game series.

Lefty Wade Miley went 7 1/3 strong innings for the win to even his record at 5-5.

"Wade was very good," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "A lot of strikes, he attacked the strike zone. Setting aside the start five days ago, six days ago, he came back out, rebounded, and he's pitching extremely well. We're able to play very good defense behind him, particularly in the infield, and I think a lot of that has to do with the pace in which he works."

Closer Koji Uehara got out of a jam in the ninth to record his 12th save. Oakland's Josh Phegley clubbed a two-out double high off the Green Monster that came close to being a game-tying, two-run homer. Alejandro De Aza, starting his first game with the Red Sox, ended the game with a nice running catch against Mark Canha.

"Our first few at-bats weren't very good, but they got better as the game went along and against pretty good relievers there at the end," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "It looked like Phegley's ball might've got out, and thought Canha's ball might've got down. We didn't play the greatest game in the world, but we were there in the end -- and one swing away of potentially taking the lead."

The Red Sox played from ahead all night, as they scored runs in the first, third, fourth and fifth against A's starter Scott Kazmir.

Bogaerts scores on error

Dustin Pedroia led the attack with a 3-for-4 night and scored twice. Brock Holt and Rusney Castillo added two hits each.

Brett Lawrie went 2-for-3 for the Athletics, including a home run. The game also included some history, as Oakland's Pat Venditte became the first switch-pitcher in history, firing two scoreless innings.

Miley holds the A's to two runs

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Miley marvelous: The righty-hander was in rhythm all night, holding the Athletics to six hits and two runs. The lefty walked one and struck out six. It was Miley's fourth solid start in his last five outings, as he overcame a shaky performance last time out.

"I was just trying to throw strikes, get ahead," said Miley. "You know they're going to come out swinging aggressive. Fortunately they hit everything at our guys, and we were making the plays." More >

Venditte makes MLB debut

Venditte makes history: Venditte made history Friday night by becoming the first full-time switch-pitcher in the modern era of Major League Baseball. Venditte came out for the seventh and induced a groundout from Holt from the left side, then turned around and threw with his right arm and allowed a single to Hanley Ramirez before getting an inning-ending double play ball from Mike Napoli. Venditte faced the minimum in the eighth, striking out switch-hitter Blake Swihart, who was batting left-handed, with his right arm to end the frame. More >

Pedroia scores on an error

Pedroia red-hot: Pedroia is in the midst of one of those torrid stretches for the Red Sox. The second baseman has 10 hits over the last four games. Pedroia has raised his average from .278 to .311 since May 23.

In the 14 games since Pedroia moved to the leadoff spot, he is 23-for-58 (.397 average) with three homers.

Kazmir struggles: After skipping one start because of shoulder tightness, Kazmir returned to the mound Friday and scattered nine hits over 4 2/3 innings. The lefty allowed the leadoff man to reach in four of five innings, and each of them scored -- though three defensive miscues behind him, one of which led to an unearned run, didn't help his cause.

"I don't actually look at that stuff," said Kazmir. "I look at the pitches I made, the hits I gave up. I've just got to be better out there. I will be next time."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Red Sox starting pitchers are starting to get locked in at home. Over the past seven games at Fenway, Boston's rotation is 5-1 with a 1.95 ERA and a .169 opponents batting average.

Fan injured by broken bat

SCARY MOMENT
A fan had to be taken away on a stretcher during the second inning after a piece of Lawrie's broken bat flew into the stands behind the A's on-deck circle and struck her in the face. She was admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, according to a Boston Police Department spokesman. The game was delayed for several minutes while medical staff applied first aid. More >

Farrell on fan's injury

"As soon as I hit it, I had to get out of the box," Lawrie said. "I saw some commotion behind home plate, and I didn't really know because I was running the bases. In between innings, that's when things got serious. Hopefully everything is OK and she's doing all right."

WHAT'S NEXT
A's: Right-hander Jesse Chavez will take a 15-inning scoreless streak into Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT start against the Red Sox. Chavez has tossed a career high-tying eight innings in each of his last two outings.

Red Sox: Right-hander Joe Kelly (1-4, 5.83 ERA) will try to pitch well enough to remain in the rotation when Boston faces the A's at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday. Kelly has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his last four starts. Boston's rotation will be going from six pitchers to five at the start of next week.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.