Red Sox with a pitchers’ duel for 3-game sweep of Athletics

Nick Pivetta joined with four relievers on an eight-hit shutout, Kenley Jansen pitched out of a ninth-inning jam and the visiting Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 1-0 victory Wednesday afternoon.

Enmanuel Valdez lifted a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning for the game’s only run, allowing Pivetta (1-1) to earn the win in a pitchers’ duel with Oakland’s Ross Stripling (0-2).

Pivetta, who pitched brilliantly but lost in his first start of the season in Seattle, needed only minimal support this time after limiting the A’s to five hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Joely Rodriguez, Justin Slaten and Chris Martin combined for three shutout innings before turning the ball over to Kenley Jansen for an adventurous ninth.

After getting Brent Rooker to fly out, Jansen walked pinch-hitter Shea Langeliers and Lawrence Butler consecutively to put the potential tying run in scoring position.

But Jansen then got pinch-hitter Abraham Toro to ground into a fielder’s choice, with Langeliers advancing to third, before striking out Ryan Noda to end the game and wrap up his second save.

The Red Sox did all the scoring they would need when they connected three of their 10 hits consecutively leading up to Valdez’s one-out sacrifice fly in the fourth. Triston Casas, who scored the run, Masataka Yoshida and Ceddanne Rafaela had the hits to load the bases for Valdez.

Stripling allowed eight hits in his seven innings, but no other runs in part because he issued no walks. He struck out three.

T.J. McFarland and Michael Kelly each worked an inning in relief to complete Oakland’s best pitching performance of the young season.

Jarren Duran went 4-for-4 for the Red Sox, who totaled 10 hits. Nine of the 10 hits — including all four of Duran’s — were singles.

Boston’s lone extra-base hit was a double by Rafael Devers following Duran’s fourth single with one out in the eighth. McFarland then intentionally walked Trevor Story, a strategy that worked when Casas grounded into an inning-ending double play.

J.D. Davis had two of Oakland’s eight hits, including their only extra-base blow, a fourth-inning double.

–Field Level Media