Boston at Oakland

Venue: O.co Coliseum
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Boston's prolific offense ran into some strong pitching in the Pacific Northwest, and arrives in Oakland struggling for runs.

The Red Sox could be in store for another tough test in Monday night's three-game series opener when the Athletics send Jarrod Parker to the mound.

After averaging 7.4 runs over a 10-game stretch, Boston (42-37) totaled nine runs in four contests with Seattle, but that was good enough to split a series with the AL's worst team. The Red Sox have won 11 of 15 overall to pull within one-half game of Baltimore for the AL's second wild-card spot.

"They were pitching pretty well," said David Ortiz, who hit the deciding sacrifice fly in the 10th inning of Sunday's 2-1 victory. "You have to pitch extremely well to stop our offense, and they did."

Now the Red Sox, the majors' second-highest scoring team with 406 runs, have the difficult task of trying to get their offense going against Parker (4-3, 2.57 ERA), something they've already failed to do once this season.

Parker didn't get selected to the All-Star game, but the rookie right-hander certainly could make a case to pitch in the Midsummer Classic. After permitting one run and three hits while striking out a career-high nine in seven innings of Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Mariners, he joined Dwight Gooden as the only pitchers to allow one run or fewer in nine of their first 13 starts since 1918.

"That's a nice stat," manager Bob Melvin told the Athletics' official website. "It says he's got great stuff, and he can do it in whatever venue. It really doesn't matter to him. When he's throwing the ball over the plate and he's mixing his pitches, he's just a tough guy to square up. We're not even to the halfway point, but we're very pleased at what he's doing. Now did we expect him to be able to pitch games like this? Absolutely."

The Red Sox know to expect a strong showing from Parker, given that he limited to one run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-3 victory at Fenway Park on May 1. Ortiz was hitless in three at-bats against Parker, but was 4 for 7 with two homers and two doubles in the other two games of that series.

Ortiz, who ranks among the AL leaders in homers (21), doubles (24), RBIs (54) and runs (57), will be Boston's lone representative at the All-Star game, marking the first time the club has had only one All-Star since 2001 (Manny Ramirez).

While the eight-time All-Star - who is sitting on 399 career home runs - could have trouble against Parker, simply hitting in Oakland also presents quite a challenge. Ortiz is batting .169 with two home runs and five RBIs in 17 road games in this series since 2008, and Boston has lost 10 of its last 14 in Oakland.

The A's (38-42) return home after beating AL West-leading Texas 3-1 on Sunday, salvaging the finale of a four-game set.

Yoenis Cespedes doubled to extend his hitting streak to six games, during which he is batting .409 with five RBIs, and he'll be getting his first look at Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2, 4.91) in the series opener.

After recording a 6.06 ERA in his first three starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, Matsuzaka allowed one run over 5 2-3 innings of Boston's 5-1 comeback win over Toronto on Tuesday. The right-hander struck out five, walked one, scattered six hits and was done after 100 pitches.

Matsuzaka has typically fared well against the A's, going 4-1 with a 3.69 ERA in seven starts.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP
2012 stats
22.0 Innings Pitched 73.2
0-2 Wins-Losses 4-3
4.91 Earned Run Average 2.57
6 Walks 36
20 Strikeouts 58
94 Pitches Per Start 98
Career vs. opponent
39.0 Innings Pitched 6.2
4-1 Wins-Losses 1-0
3.69 Earned Run Average 1.35

Jarrod Parker, RHP
Weather
weather image  Morning clouds. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
63°F55°F14mph/W84%1%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Boston5th AL East7191.438255-5 L 1
Oakland2nd AL West8874.543105-5 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jarrod Parker
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Ross32000.667
Pedroia31001.333
Saltalamacchia31001.333
Atchison000000
Aviles300010
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Daisuke Matsuzaka
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Smith110101.000
Suzuki114100.364
Pennington51003.200
Gomes132014.154
Inge91015.111
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Boston 100 Oakland -110
Injuries
Boston
PlayerInjury
R. DempsterNeck
B. HoltConcussion
M. NapoliBack, toe, finger
D. PedroiaWrist
S. VictorinoBack
Oakland
PlayerInjury
K. BlanksAchilles
C. GentryHead
A. GriffinElbow
J. JasoConcussion
E. O'FlahertyArm
J. ParkerElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Apr 7OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Apr 8OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Apr 9OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
May 1TEX   
May 2TEX   
May 3TEX   
Jun 9OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jun 10OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jun 11OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
Jun 23TEX   
Jun 24TEX   
Jun 25TEX   
Sep 11TEX   
Sep 12TEX   
Sep 13TEX   
Sep 22OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 23OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 24OAK 3:35 PM EDT