Athletics at Red Sox
The Bay State representatives routinely have gotten the better of the Bay Area boys, especially when the Oakland Athletics pay a visit to Beantown. Mookie Betts looks to ride the momentum of his two-homer, six-RBI performance in the opener as the Boston Red Sox vie for a series victory and their 30th win in 39 home games against the Athletics on Wednesday.
Betts' performance in Boston's 11-1 rout on Tuesday was nothing new as he battered Oakland to the tune of going 7-for-11 with two homers and eight RBIs in last year's series at Fenway Park. The Red Sox, who erupted for 40 runs on 48 hits in that series, have won five of their last six overall and have matched their season high by improving to 20 games above .500. While Boston holds a four-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East, AL West cellar-dwelling Oakland saw its five-game winning streak come to an end following its seventh straight loss at Fenway Park. Former Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie has hit safely in four straight games and 10 of his last 11, but he's just 6-for-25 versus Wednesday starter Doug Fister.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCSN California (Oakland), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Jharel Cotton (7-10, 5.82 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Doug Fister (5-7, 3.91)
Cotton was clubbed for a season high-tying seven runs over five innings in a no-decision to Houston on Friday. The 25-year-old surrendered three homers for the second straight outing and fourth time this season, increasing his total to 12 allowed in his last six (33 2/3 innings). Cotton has permitted 27 homers this season to tie an Oakland rookie record.
Fister improved to 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA in his last seven starts after yielding one run on four hits over seven innings in each of his last two outings. The 33-year-old sinkerballer has worked at least seven frames in each of his last four starts, allowing a grand total of five runs on 14 hits while striking out 27 in that stretch. Opposing hitters are batting 6-for-83 against him from the second inning on in his last four starts, with manager John Farrell noting that it "takes him an inning to find his release point."
1. Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia, who is from Woodland, Calif., is 41-for-100 while hitting safely in each of his last 25 games versus Oakland.
2. Athletics rookie 1B Matt Olson is 6-for-13 with two home runs, five runs scored and four RBIs in his last four contests.
3. The Red Sox are 28-9 at home against the AL West representatives since May 23, 2015.