OAKLAND – The Boston Red Sox’s lone earned run against James Kaprielian crossed home on a double-play ball. That’s an indication of how brilliantly Kaprielian navigated a tough Boston lineup for a second time this season.
Kaprielian’s strong start was overshadowed by a slumping offense that couldn’t roll any of the momentum from the 12th-inning win on Saturday night into Sunday’s game. The Oakland Athletics lost, 1-0, in the rubber match against the Red Sox.
Kaprielian shouldered a loss he didn’t deserve and the A’s a loss they can’t afford with the hot Houston Astros gaining separation atop the American League West. Kaprielian faced a Red Sox ream with a .762 OPS ranking second-best in the American League this season.
He went seven innings with a career-high 10 strikeouts on Sunday, holding Boston to one run scored on Rafael Devers’ 6-4-3 double play, scoring Alex Verdugo from third. Kaprielian hasn’t allowed more than six hits in each of his last 10 starts.
Fried after a four-plus hour extra-inning game on Saturday night, both teams flatlined at the plate. But the A’s could only get two hits off Red Sox starter Nick Pavetta and one off reliever Garrett Whitlock.
The A’s put the tying run on second base when newly minted All-Star Matt Olson singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth against fellow All-Star Matt Barnes. Pinch runner Skye Bolt stole second to put the game-tying run in scoring position and Jed Lowrie walked. But Ramon Laureano hit into a force out and Seth Brown struck out swinging to end it.