Red Sox complete sweep of A’s

OAKLAND (AP) — Franchy Cordero hit a three-run homer off Frankie Montas in the sixth inning and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 5-2 win on Sunday.

Rich Hill threw three-hit ball over six innings and struckout five. Rafael Devers homered and drove in two runs as the Red Sox extended their winning streak to four and returned to .500 (27-27) for the first time since April 22.

“We’ve been playing good baseball for the past three weeks, we’ve just used and used everyone,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “We still have holes, but we feel really good about ourselves every day”

The A’s lost their seventh straight, falling to 7-23 at home—the worst record in the majors and second-worst in franchise history to 30 games. The 1920 Philadelphia A’s started 6-23-1 at home.

Montas (2-6) retired 14 of 15 after a rocky first inning before a throwing error by third baseman Kevin Smith in the sixth helped set up Boston’s big inning.

After Devers walked and Xander Bogaerts reached on the error, Alex Verdugo flew out and Trevor Story popped out. A’s manager Mark Kotsay paid a visit to the mound, then Cordero hit the next delivery – an 85 mph in the zone splitter – into left field position.

“He took me out of the first two at bats with that splitter, so it was clear that at some point in that at bat he was going to try and throw that pitch,” Cordero said through an interpreter. “I was ready.”

In his first at bat, Cordero lined out to first baseman Seth Brown on a ball with an exit speed of 100 mph. His home run took off at 107 mph.

“That ball was wrecked,” Cora said. “There’s a reason he gets at bats, because he contributes daily. It seems like every time he hits the ball, it’s hard.”

Hill (2-3) recovered from his worst start of the season, beating the A’s for the second time in nine career appearances. The 42-year old lefty didn’t walk and set up 16 right after Ramón Laureano’s RBI double in the first inning before leaving on Jed Lowrie’s leadoff single in the seventh.

“Thrown a lot of knives today, which was good,” Hill said. “It opens up the outer part of the plate, leaving more room for swings and misses with the curveball. It wasn’t like trying to find the attack zone like the previous game.”

Devers hit an RBI single in the first and homered in the eighth.

Montas struckout seven in six innings, but lost his fifth consecutive. Scoreless since April 18, he gave up six hits and four runs (one earned).

SHORT HOPS

Six of Devers’ 12 home runs were solo shots. … The A’s have been knocked out three times and held one run over Montas’s last nine starts three times. … The Red Sox have won eight of their last eleven on the road. … The 1-9 homestand is the second worst in Oakland history. The A’s went 0-6 earlier this year at the Coliseum from April 29 to May 4. … Laureano has a 10-game run.

TRAINERS ROOM

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale will throw another bullpen on Tuesday and then face the batters on Friday. … RHP Hansel Robles (back cramps) will pitch an inning for Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday and could rejoin the big league-club on Thursday. … LHP James Paxton (elbow surgery) throws up to 120 feet and has pressured management to get him back on the mound soon. … JD Martinez was given a day off as part of Cora’s plan to rest his veteran players for the coming week.

Athletics: OR Stephen Piscotty (calf strain) has grown to be a boxer but will remain in Oakland to continue his rehab during the team’s road trip.

NEXT ONE

Red Sox: RHP Michael Wacha (3-1, 2.43 ERA) faces the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. Wacha has allowed two earned runs or less and four hits or less in seven of his eight starts.

Athletics: After a bad day, LHP will pitch Cole Irvin (2-2, 2.96) against the Braves in Atlanta on Tuesday. Irvin has allowed one home run over his previous six starts.

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