OAKLAND (AP) — Mitch Moreland hit a grand slam, Jackie Bradley Jr. added a three-run homer and the streaking Boston Red Sox won their eighth in a row, beating the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Friday night.
Boston kept up the best start in the franchise’s 118-year history, improving to a major league-leading 17-2. They’ve won 17 of 18 since losing to Tampa Bay on opening day.
Hundreds of Boston fans decked in red showed up at the Oakland Coliseum. They saw Moreland hit the fifth grand slam by the Red Sox this season — they didn’t hit any last year.
Eduardo Nunez had three hits and scored while Hanley Ramirez singled twice for the Red Sox.
Jed Lowrie matched his career high with four hits for Oakland. Lowrie, who doubled in a run in the first, leads the majors in hits (32) and RBIs (22). The A’s had won four in a row.
Moreland homered on the first pitch from reliever Emilio Pagan in the sixth. Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Ramirez opened the inning with three consecutive singles off starter Kendall Graveman (0-4) before Moreland’s towering shot to right.
This is the first time the Red Sox have hit five slams before May 1.
Bradley homered off Graveman in the second inning, his second in four games.
The power surge came by the Red Sox was timely on a night when starter Drew Pomeranz failed to make it out of the fourth inning in his season debut. Activated off the disabled list earlier in the day after recovering from a strained forearm, the left-hander struck out seven but allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Hector Velazquez (3-0) pitched three scoreless innings for the win. Boston also got a lift from Matt Barnes, who retired four batters and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Joyce with the bases loaded to end the seventh.
Red Sox: J.D. Martinez was given a planned day off. Martinez has been Boston’s hottest hitter over the past two weeks while going 13 for 22 (.591) with four home runs. . LHP Bobby Poyner will make at least one more rehab start before the team decides whether or not to activate him off the DL. Poyner has been out since April 12 with a strained left hamstring. . RHP Marcus Walden was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Pomeranz.
Athletics: RHPs Chris Bassitt and Josh Lucas were recalled from Triple-A Nashville. LHP Daniel Coulombe was optioned down.
Boston’s Chris Sale (1-0, 1.23 ERA) faces Sean Manaea (2-2, 1.63 ERA) in matchup of lefties at the Coliseum on Saturday. Sale has yielded three runs and struck out 31 over 22 innings this season. Manaea has been Oakland’s most consistent pitcher, allowing two or fewer runs in each of his four starts.
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