Red Sox look to rebound in finale against Athletics

MLB Baseball

Nick Pivetta hopes to pitch the Boston Red Sox back into the win column in the finale of a three-game series against the host Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Sox squandered a two-run lead in the 12th inning as Oakland recorded a 7-6 victory on Saturday to snap Boston’s eight-game winning streak. The Red Sox fell one victory shy of matching their longest winning streak of the season.

“We had chances to close it out with 27 outs. We just didn’t do it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “I think overall, the guys have been throwing the ball well, and we’re gonna keep grinding, keep looking for guys to get people out. I think we’re OK (with) where we’re at.”

Pivetta (6-3, 4.43 ERA) has been up and down in his past two starts. The right-hander allowed a season-high-tying six runs on nine hits — including three home runs — over 4 1/3 innings Tuesday against Kansas City after throwing 6 2/3 no-hit innings before being pulled on June 24 at Tampa Bay.

Pivetta has pitched better on the road this season than at home. He is 3-2 with a 3.40 ERA in seven starts away from Fenway Park, compared to his 3-1 record and 5.32 ERA in nine starts at home.

The Athletics’ inexperience against Pivetta could be a factor as he makes his first career start against them. In past matchups with other teams, Mitch Moreland is 1-for-6 with a strikeout against Pivetta.

Oakland had lost three of four and nine of 13 games overall after the 3-2 setback to Boston on Friday, but now has won three of five meetings against the Red Sox this season.

James Kaprielian (4-2, 3.06) gets the start for the Athletics in the series finale. The right-hander logged quality starts in three of his five June starts, going 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA while striking out 30.

Kaprielian faced Texas in each of his past two starts, allowing five runs on 11 hits with 10 strikeouts over 12 total innings. On Tuesday, Kaprielian tossed six innings of three-run ball and struck out six batters in a 5-4 defeat.

“I want to pitch deeper in the game,” Kaprielian told the San Francisco Chronicle after the loss. “I want to be going into the seventh and obviously I haven’t really earned that quite yet … and put up zeroes to do that. But I feel good.”

In his season debut on May 12 at Boston, Kaprielian pitched Oakland to a 4-1 victory for his first major league win. He allowed just one run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts over five innings.

Christian Vazquez worked a bases-loaded walk against Kaprielian to produce the lone run for the Red Sox. Marwin Gonzalez doubled twice and walked in three plate appearances opposite Kaprielian, while Hunter Renfroe also hit a double against him.

–Field Level Media

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