for this game

Red Sox target series win over A's

Jun 6, 2015 - 2:12 PM ( - A pair of division cellar dwellers play the second of a three-game set at Fenway Park this afternoon as the Boston Red Sox host the Oakland Athletics.

While the A's have just two fewer wins than Boston, Oakland is 11 games below .500 and already 11 1/2 games out of first place in the American League West, the deepest hole for any club in the AL. Boston, six games under .500, is only 5 1/2 games off the pace in the East and with a little luck could even be in third place in the division at the close of the weekend.

The Red Sox, who are tied for the worst run differential in the league (-48), did manage to snap a two-game slide on Friday in the opener thanks to a 4-2 triumph as they scored single runs in all but one of the first five innings.

Dustin Pedroia tallied three hits and a pair of runs scored, while Brock Holt and Rusney Castillo each had a couple of hits as well. Holt and Hanley Ramirez were each credited with an RBI, while three Oakland errors helped the Sox immensely.

Starting pitcher Wade Miley evened his record at 5-5 as he permitted just a pair of runs on six hits and a walk, striking out six over 7 1/3 innings. Despite allowing two hits in the ninth, Koji Uehara notched his 12th save.

"Wade was very good," noted Red Sox manager John Farrell. "A lot of strikes, he attacked the strike zone. Setting aside the start five days ago, six days ago, he came back out, rebounded, and he's pitching extremely well. We're able to play very good defense behind him, particularly in the infield, and I think a lot of that has to do with the pace in which he works."

Scott Kazmir absorbed the loss for the A's as he gave up four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits, striking out four in just 4 2/3 innings.

Brett Lawrie was responsible for three of his team's eight hits, one of those being his fifth home run, scoring a pair of runs, but he was also involved in one of the scarier plays you'll see at a baseball game.

In the top of the second Lawrie grounded out to second, but his bat shattered near the handle and piece went into the stands, striking a woman in the head behind the A's on-deck circle. The game was delayed for several minutes as medical staff tended to the woman, eventually taking her onto the field and out of the stadium with what were described as life-threatening injuries.

"As soon as I hit it, I had to get out of the box," Lawrie said. "I saw some commotion behind home plate, and I didn't really know because I was running the bases. In between innings, that's when things got serious. Hopefully everything is OK and she's doing all right."

In hopes of getting back on track, Joe Kelly takes the ball for the Red Sox this afternoon at Fenway. Since posting his lone win of the campaign against the New York Yankees on April 11, the right-hander has struggled, particularly in recent weeks.

Outside of a 2-1 win for the Sox over Seattle on May 14, Kelly has been handed one loss after another. The most recent outing for Kelly with Boston was on May 25 when he was shelled for seven runs on eight hits and a walk over 1 2/3 innings. Needless to say, the effort turned into his second consecutive defeat and the fourth in his last five appearances.

A native of the Golden State who attended Cal-Riverside, Kelly will be making just his second career appearance against Oakland.

Right-hander Jesse Chavez, who attending Riverside Community College, will be trying to build on the success he created when he downed the Yankees on Sunday in a 3-0 final. Chavez threw eight shutout innings, permitting seven hits while striking out six, as he spanned a three-game slide and captured his first victory in more than three weeks.

Now with his fifth team since breaking into the majors in 2008 with Pittsburgh, Chavez has faced Boston four times previously, assembling a 0.73 ERA, but is still without a decision.