BOSTON – Dustin Pedroia hit a grand slam for his 100th career home run and Clay Buchholz picked up his first win at home as the Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 7-1 on Friday night.
Pedroia had yet to homer this season before driving an 0-2 pitch out to left field in the sixth inning to put Boston up 6-1. The cushion was plenty for Buchholz (2-2), who shut down the team with the top record in the American League.
Buchholz pitched 6 1-3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out five. He walked three and got himself out of several jams as the A’s left five on base and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position against Buchholz.
John Jaso scored Oakland’s only run, coming in on a wild pitch after leading off the third with a triple.
Boston was having its own struggles with runners on before Pedroia came through in the sixth off of reliever Ryan Cook. Xander Bogaerts and A.J. Pierzynski started the sixth with back-to-back singles off Dan Otero, who began the inning. Otero struck out Will Middlebrooks, then walked Bradley to load the bases with one out.
Cook relieved Otero and got Pedroia down 0-2, before he cleared the bases with a shot that just cleared the Green Monster. A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged whether the ball cleared the yellow line before a fan touched it and lost the appeal.
The milestone homer put him in elite Red Sox company as only the second player in franchise history with 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases. Pedroia, who stole his 121st career base in the first inning, joins Carl Yastrzemski (452 home runs, 168 steals).
Boston hadn’t scored since getting a pair of runs in the second inning off starter Dan Straily (1-2). Grady Sizemore led off with a double and scored on Pierzynski’s single with one out. Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-out double to drive in Pierzynski and Boston led 2-0.
Bradley ended a potential rally for the A’s in the eighth with a leaping catch at the center field wall, then hitting Pedroia with a strong relay throw. Pedroia threw to Mike Napoli as Josh Donaldson scrambled to get back after rounding second before seeing Bradley make the catch.
Straily pitched 4 1-3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out three and walked three.
NOTES: The series continues Saturday afternoon with Boston LHP Jon Lester (2-4) scheduled to face Oakland lefty Tommy Milone (0-2). .. Oakland played its first game in May after tying the franchise record for wins in April at 18-9. … Buchholz allowed 12 runs on 20 hits over 6 2-3 innings in his first two starts at Fenway Park this season. … Boston rookie SS Xander Bogaerts has reached safely in 14 straight games. … Boston C A.J. Pierzynski was played his 1,700th career game behind the plate. … Pedroia could catch Yastrzemski’s steal total of 168, but Yaz’s 452 homers are probably out of reach for Boston’s pesky second baseman.