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Fast Start From Bello, Hitters Lead Red-Hot Red Sox Past A’s

Fast Start From Bello, Hitters Lead Red-Hot Red Sox Past A’s

Boston Red Sox pitcher Brayan Bello rejoices in the rain after completing five innings against the Oakland A's in Boston on July 9, 2024. (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

7/9/2024

Updated: 7/9/2024

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BOSTON—Brayan Bello struck out a career-high 11 batters–getting each of his first 10 outs in exactly that fashion–and Wilyer Abreu and Dominic Smith hit home runs on back-to-back pitches during an eight-run second inning Tuesday night to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 12–9.
On the day he was scratched from next week’s All-Star Game because of a sore shoulder, Rafael Devers had two hits and a walk, drove in three runs and scored twice as the Red Sox won for the seventh time in their past eight games and improved to a season-high 10 games over .500.
“We talk about being greedy,” Manager Alex Cora said. “A few weeks ago, we saw a window, but I think the window is getting bigger. It’s actually a door. And we can actually accomplish this. So, we’re going to keep playing good baseball, and let’s see where it takes us.”
Bello (9–5) is only the third major-league pitcher since 1961 to record his first 10 outs by strikeout.
Even as he struggled in the first inning, when the A’s took a 2–0 lead on three hits and a wild pitch, Bello got all three outs via the strikeout. He fanned three more, while allowing two baserunners, in the second, and then struck out the side in a 1-2-3 third inning.
Bello fanned Lawrence Butler for the first out in the fourth, and then with runners on first and second, he finally induced a groundout, by Max Schuemann.
“I feel really good about that,” Bello said. “I work really hard to get those results.”
By that time, the Red Sox led 11–2. Bello was charged with three more runs in the sixth, when he gave up two singles and a 457-foot homer to Butler. In all, the Red Sox right-hander allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks.
Oakland scored another run in the seventh and made it 12–9 with two outs in the ninth when Zack Gelof hit a three-run homer—his third hit of the game—off right-hander Trey Wingenter. In his major- league debut, Wingenter got Butler on an infield popup to end the game.
Oakland’s Joey Estes (3–4) gave up hits to the first four batters in the first, with Boston taking a 3–2 lead on Devers’ two-run single. But it was the second inning when the Red Sox chased Estes and broke things open with eight runs on seven hits, a walk, and a hit batter.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time since 2011 that every member of a major- league lineup had at least one hit and one run in the first two innings. The Red Sox last did it in 2003.
“Little by little, we’ve been opening the door and having better results as a team,” said Abreu, who snapped a 0-for-16 slump with his homer and matched his career high with four RBIs. “It’s been day-by-day, and it’s nice to see.”
Estes, who hadn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his previous three starts, was charged with eight runs on seven hits and one walk in 1 2/3 innings—the shortest start of his career.
Cora earned his 490th victory as Red Sox manager, surpassing Bill Carrigan for fourth-most in club history. It was Cora’s 900th game–more than 100 fewer than Carrigan (1,003).
Red Sox shortstop Ceddanne Rafaela multitasks while making a play against the A's in Boston on July 9, 2024. (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)

Red Sox shortstop Ceddanne Rafaela multitasks while making a play against the A's in Boston on July 9, 2024. (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)

Roster Moves

The Red Sox recalled utilityman Jamie Westbrook from Triple-A Worcester, Mass., and selected the contract of Wingenter. Utilityman Enmanuel Valdez was optioned to Worcester, and righty Naoyuki Uwasawa was designated for assignment.

Trainer’s Room

A’s: Left-hander Hogan Harris, whose wife is expecting their first child, was placed on the paternity list, and right-hander Michel Otañez was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his spot on the roster.
Red Sox: Cora said Devers had a nagging shoulder injury that will benefit from rest over the four-day All-Star break.

Up Next

Boston’s Nick Pivetta (4–5) and Oakland’s JP Sears (5–7) are Wednesday’s scheduled starters.
By Jimmy Golen
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