OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center fielder Ramon Laureano threw out another Red Sox runner in a key spot, and the Oakland Athletics kept Boston stumbling with a 7-3 win on Thursday.
Laureano tossed out three runners as the A’s took three of four in the series. Stephen Piscotty went 4 for 4 with a home run, double and five RBIs to help Oakland win for the fifth time in six games.
The Red Sox fell to 2-6, the worst start for a defending World Series champion since the stripped-down Marlins struggled in 1998. J.D. Martinez homered for Boston.
Mookie Betts led off the Red Sox ninth inning with a walk and tried to take third when Andrew Benintendi followed with a bloop single. But Laureano charged the ball hard and threw on the run to catch Betts, with the out call being upheld on replay.
On Tuesday night, Laureano threw out Xander Bogaerts at third as he tried to stretch a double in the ninth inning of a game Oakland won 1-0. On Monday night, Laureano threw out Bogaerts at the plate early in a 7-0 win for the A’s.
The 24-year-old Laureano made his major league debut last year. He now has 12 assists in only 57 games in the outfield with the A’s.
Brett Anderson (2-0) gave up three runs on eight hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Anderson walked home two runs in the first inning. Martinez connected for his third home run in the third, making it 3-0.
The A’s tied it in the third on Piscotty’s three-run homer off Eduardo Rodriguez (0-2). Rodriguez gave up six runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Piscotty got a gift two-run double with two outs in a three-run third. Oakland had runners at second and third when Piscotty hit a fly to the warning track that split Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Betts in right — neither outfielder called for the ball and it landed between them, bouncing over the fence for a double.
A’s relievers Lee Trivino, Joakim Soria and Liam Hendriks combined for 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball.
Martinez has hit safely in all eight games for Boston. . Rodriguez recorded his 500th career strikeout in the first when he got Khris Davis swinging to end the inning. . The Red Sox are 16-38 in their last 54 games at Oakland and 3-13-1 in their last 17 full series at the Coliseum.
Red Sox: 1B Steve Pearce (left calf strain) was activated from the injured list and was in the lineup. The 2018 World Series MVP was 1 for 4 and struck out three times.
Athletics: A day after being hit by a pitch on his surgically repaired left wrist, 3B Matt Chapman was out of the lineup on Thursday but came into the game in the eighth inning. Manager Bob Melvin said the move was precautionary. Chapman underwent left wrist surgery in 2015. . Utilityman Chad Pinder took Chapman’s spot at third. . 1B Matt Olson (right hand surgery) took ground balls for third time on Thursday.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will start Friday’s series opener in Arizona. Porcello gave up nine runs (four earned) in 2 2/3 innings in his season debut on March 31 against Seattle.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (1-0, 1.50) will start Friday’s series opener in Houston. Montas gave up one run in six innings of one-hit ball in his first start against the Angels on March 31.
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