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Oakland A’s skid hits eight games as Red Sox’s Nick Pivetta sets Boston record

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OAKLAND – After a disastrous top of the sixth that saw the visiting Red Sox pile up four runs against the Oakland A’s to blow the game open, things got even worse in the bottom of the seventh against Nick Pivetta, who set a Boston record by striking out 13 in relief. 

After being called out on strikes in another hitless inning for the A’s, a frustrated Ryan Noda made a motion with his bat as he walked away from the umpire.

Home plate umpire Emil Jimenez threw Noda and his 10 home runs, second-most on the team, out of Monday night’s game for his actions.

“I kind of got mad and swiped at the dirt in anger toward myself,  and started walking back to the dugout and didn’t even know I got tossed until I was halfway there ” Noda said. “I think it was just a misunderstanding.”

It’s been that kind of season for Oakland, now losers of eight in a row. After playing three close games against the Twins, the A’s suffered their first shutout post-All-Star break, a 7-0 defeat to the visitors. Oakland had one hit..

The A’s record fell to 25-71, the worst in baseball. Meanwhile, the Red Sox (51-44) improved to a league-best 11-2 in July and are now on their way to winning a fifth consecutive series after Pivetta struck out a season-high 13 in six hitless innings. 

“His fastball just seemed like it had really good life, and the breaking ball was good,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “That’s the best I’ve seen him (pitch).”

The Red Sox didn’t take long to get on the board, with breakout left fielder Jarren Duran leading off with his 29th double of the season, advancing to third on a groundball, and then scoring after Justin Turner sent a sac fly into the right. 

2022 All-Star Paul Blackburn ran into more trouble in the second inning after another leadoff double by Adam Duvall. The 10-year veteran scored a few batters later when Connor Wong drove him in on a single, one of Wong’s career-high three RBIs in front of 9,987 fans. 

Boston entered the day as winners of eight of its last 10 games and one of the hottest teams in baseball. Using the opener strategy, manager Alex Cora had Brennan Bernardino throw two scoreless innings before handing things off to long reliever Pivetta. 

Pivetta was untouchable, striking out five in his first two innings. The 30-year-old ended the night with his first double-digit strikeout outing of the season. 

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