Pomeranz, Benintendi lead Red Sox past A's
BOSTON -- Drew Pomeranz pitched six solid innings for his 16th win and Andrew Benintendi had three hits and three RBIs, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the finale of a three-game series on Thursday.
Pomeranz (16-5) allowed a run on five hits and struck out five in raising his record to 10-1 since June 16 -- and also pulling into a four-way tie with staff mate Chris Sale and Cleveland's Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer for the American League lead in wins.
The victory, their sixth in the last eight games, moved the Red Sox to 3 1/2 games ahead of the New York Yankees atop the AL East -- the Yankees are hosting the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
The game was tied 1-1 when Dustin Pedroia and Benintendi hit back-to-back doubles to chase Daniel Gossett (4-9) in the sixth inning. One out later, Mitch Moreland doubled off reliever Ryan Dull to make it 3-1.
It was the second double of the day and the fourth in his last seven at-bats for Benintendi. He then singled home two runs in a three-run seventh that broke the game open -- and he is 11-for-22 with eight RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.
Oakland's Ryon Healy hit his 25th homer, a solo shot off Joe Kelly in the eighth inning. Mark Canha doubled home the first A's run and had three hits -- his second three-hit game of the season against Boston.
The A's grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fifth on the first of two doubles by Canha, but Christian Vazquez answered that with his seventh homer of the year in the bottom of the inning. Vazquez came into the game with a .376 home batting average (.222 on the road), tops in the league and finished the game at .372 at Fenway Park.
Reliever Addison Reed struck out Chad Pinder with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh and also pitched the eighth, when the game was still close.
Pedroia, serving as designated hitter to rest his sore knee, went 7-for-11 in the series and has hit in 27 straight games against Oakland.
The A's, losing for the second time in their last eight games, had two runners caught on the bases and also had an error.
NOTES: The Red Sox activated LHP David Price from the 10-day disabled list and he will work out of the bullpen for the rest of the season, including playoffs. "I think there will be some spots that will emerge naturally," said manager John Farrell, who noted Price will likely work either Sunday or Monday. Price is 2-8 in the postseason, with both wins as a reliever. ... Oakland DH Khris Davis left the team to return home for the birth of a child and is expected to be away from the team for a few days. ... Slumping Boston DH Hanley Ramirez, who has a .171 September on-base percentage, sat Thursday. ... The Red Sox open a three-game series at Tampa Bay with LHP Chris Sale facing RH Matt Andriese on Friday. The A's are in Philadelphia and will send RHP Daniel Mengden to the mound against RH Mark Leiter Jr. ... Red Sox president Sam Kennedy, reacting to the anti-racism banner that was hung from the Green Monster Wednesday night, defended the area by telling WEEI, "Let me say this about Boston and the state of Massachusetts: we are extremely proud to live here and be here."