OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — A vintage performance from 40-year-old slugger David Ortiz, a big night from Travis Shaw and another fine outing by David Price helped the Boston Red Sox inch closer to first place in the AL East.
Manager John Farrell’s ballclub even got a peek into its future when highly touted Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada made his major league debut.
Ortiz singled twice and drove in three runs, Shaw homered and had five RBIs while Price won his fifth consecutive start as the Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 16-2 on Friday.
Hanley Ramirez added three RBIs and Xander Bogaerts doubled and scored three runs to help the Red Sox move within one game of first-place Toronto in the AL East. Boston (75-59) moved within three wins of matching their total of last season.
“(Price) set the tone for us,” Farrell said. “From there the offense took over.”
Price (14-8) was mostly dominant while pitching seven solid innings against the overmatched A’s. The left-hander fanned five of the first seven he faced, gave up two runs and finished with seven strikeouts and three walks.
Over his last five starts Price is 5-0 with a 2.06 ERA.
“I’m just making a lot better pitches, keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate for the most part,” Price said. “Just executing pitches and being able to throw everything that I have in whatever count it is, it doesn’t matter.”
Stephen Vogt had an RBI double for the A’s. Oakland, which has lost eight straight to Boston, dropped a season-high 20 games under .500 (57-77).
Ortiz hit run-scoring singles in the first and fifth innings and added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to push his RBI total to 105, two behind league-leading Edwin Encarnacion of Toronto. He walked in the third one batter before Mookie Betts’ sacrifice fly off Zach Neal (2-4).
Neal, pressed into duty when starter Andrew Triggs left with back tightness after one inning, allowed five runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Shaw doubled in Ramirez to cap Boston’s four-run fifth then hit his 15th home run of the season in a six-run sixth, a three-run shot off J.B. Wendelken. Shaw doubled in Moncada in the eighth, marking the fourth time this season he’s had five RBIs in a game.
“Same thing I’ve been working on for about two weeks now, staying in the middle of the field and trying to drive the ball the other way,” Shaw said.
The A’s did all of their scoring in the fourth. Billy Butler had a sacrifice fly and Vogt added his double.
“For a while we were in the game,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “We came back to tie it and then they did what they can do when you make some mistakes.”
Moncada, the highly touted Cuban-born prospect who received a record $31.5 million signing bonus when he inked a deal with Boston last year, made his major league debut and drew a five-pitch walk in the eighth after being called up from Double-A Portland before the game. Moncada struck out swinging in the ninth. “In a three-inning look you see some exciting skills,” Farrell said. “It was a glimpse but he had a chance to show off two of the tools.”
Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly, LHP Robby Scott and INF Deven Marrero were added to the roster from Triple-A Pawtucket. … C Ryan Hanigan came off the DL before the game. RHP William Cuevas was designated for assignment.
A’s: Former closer Sean Doolittle was activated from the DL after missing 59 games with a strained left shoulder. RHP Jesse Hahn was also activated off the DL and optioned to Triple-A Nashville. C Matt McBride was called up from Nashville.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (18-3) faces the A’s for the second time this season Saturday night. Porcello has 23 strikeouts over his previous three starts overall and has gone seven innings or longer in five consecutive starts.
A’s: RHP Daniel Mengden (1-5) will be called up from Triple-A Nashville and start against Boston.
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