BOSTON (AP) — Paul Blackburn continued his road success by pitching sharply into the sixth inning, Christian Bethancourt hit a two-run single and the Oakland Athletics held off the Boston Red Sox 4-3 Thursday for just their second win in 15 games.
Chad Pinder added an RBI single for Oakland, which closed its nine-game road trip at 2-7 and avoided being swept in a three-game series by Boston for the second time this month.
“Earlier in the day I got a question about this team’s fight,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “If they didn’t show up and fight today, I don’t know what they did. Long road trip, obviously, not a successful one.”
J.D. Martinez had three singles and drove in a run for Boston. The Red Sox, who had won 11 of 13, left eight runners on in the first four innings and 13 overall.
Boston star Rafael Devers went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks and was hit by a pitch, ending his streak of four straight games with a home run.
Leading 4-1 in the eighth, Oakland third baseman Jonah Bride made a two-out throwing error that let a run score. Martinez followed with an RBI single that second baseman Tony Kemp stopped with a dive in shallow center, keeping the tying run from scoring.
Blackburn (6-2) gave up a run and eight hits, with four strikeouts and two walks in 5 1/3 innings, slightly increasing his road ERA from 0.91 to 1.00. He entered with the majors’ lowest ERA away from home.
“I am,” he said, smiling, when asked if he was aware of his road ERA. “There’s just something about coming into a place and quieting a crowd. It’s just what I’ve always enjoyed.”
“Playing here, I know the fans are going to be great. I know it’s a huge baseball town, they’re going to have this place packed and people are going to be chirping me in the bullpen,” he said. “Just being able to…