A quick burst of offense made for smooth sailing for Chris Sale as the Boston Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-4 win against the Oakland Athletics in the series finale on Wednesday night in Boston.
Eduardo Rodriguez took his first loss of the season to drop to 3-1.
Chris Sale couldn't quite harness his crackling fastball on this night, limited to five innings as his pitch count swelled to 102.
The 25-year-old shortstop is swinging at 48 percent of the pitches he sees this year, up big from 42 percent last year.
His start against the A's was the ideal example, as he went just five innings and allowed two runs on two hits, while walking four and striking out nine.
By now, we all know the story behind Drew Bledsoe and the "Scary Terry" shirts, but now we have Sale (and apparently other Red Sox players) with their own unique way of showing support. Both scored on a double by Chapman, who drove a pitch from Rodriguez over the head of Mookie Betts in right field. Facing Trevor Cahill, who made his first start after returning from the disabled list, Martinez jumped ahead 2-1 and got an inside changeup that was hit squarely.
The homers were the 58th and 59th of the season. Xander Bogaerts SS 6. Bogaerts has five long balls on the season. Oakland had six hits through the first three innings, starting with back-to-back singles by Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder to start the game.
If pitchers make a mistake against Martinez right now, the ball isn't staying in the park.
Olson's sixth homer of the campaign narrowly cleared the Monster to lead off the ninth against Kimbrel. Oakland right-hander Andrew Triggs (3-1, 5.31) faces the Toronto Blue Jays tonight.