The offense was great, and Clay Buchholz sucked. Business as usual.

The Red Sox banged out 15 hits Monday night at Fenway in a 14-7 victory over the Athletics, as every member of the lineup — except Christian Vazquez — recorded a hit.

Boston trailed 4-1 entering the fourth inning, but put up six runs in the frame, chasing Oakland starter Sonny Gray, who was tagged for seven earned-runs.

The Red Sox’ bats posted a combined 12 runs between the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, capped by a grand slam off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., who finished 3-for-5 with six RBIs. Bradley now has a 15-game hitting streak.

Coming off his best start of the season last Wednesday against the White Sox, Buchholz was back to his usual miserable, nibbling self Monday. The enigmatic right-hander surrendered four earned-runs over five innings, while allowing six hits and two walks.

After Steven Wright needed just 101 pitches in a complete game Sunday night in New York, Buchholz had to throw 87 pitches in his five innings of work. But the offense bailed him out, as he was still able to pick up his second win of the season.

When asked what he thought about not being sent back out for the sixth inning, Buchholz joked: “I thought I got traded or something. I would have liked to have gone back out for the sixth, but I’m not the manager.”

As someone who was freezing his ass off in the park last night, I’d like to personally thank John Farrell for yanking him when he did.

The 14 runs were a season-high for the Red Sox, as just about everyone got in on the act.

In addition to Bradley, The Red Sox received big contributions from Travis Shaw and David Ortiz — both finished 3-for-5 — and Brock Holt, who clubbed his third home run of the season.

In relief of Buchholz, Tommy Layne pitched a perfect sixth, Carson Smith pitched the seventh and allowed one run (unearned, thanks to Bradley dropping a routine fly ball), and Heath Hembree allowed two runs in the final two innings to close out the win.

The victory improved the Red Sox’ record to 19-13, as they moved back into a tie with Baltimore for first place in the AL East.

Boston will send Sean O’ Sullivan to the mound Tuesday night in game two of the series, while Oakland will counter with Sean Manaea.


Bradley — Monday’s effort raised his average to .303, as he now has four homers and 21 RBIs on the season. His .903 OPS is also second-highest on the team. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Bradley’s current streak, is the way he’s spraying the ball all over the ballpark. His three hits on Monday included singles to center and left, and a Grand Slam into the right field seats. Defense has always been his calling card, but JBJ has quickly — and improbably — become one of the best hitters on the roster.

Ortiz — In what’s become a running theme for much of this lineup, Ortiz continued to send the ball the opposite way. He had two doubles on the game — both to left field — and also scorched two balls up the middle, though both were caught. He now has a .321 average on the season, and his 1.090 OPS is completely ridiculous.

Shaw — The three-hit game (two doubles) raised his average to .308, as he continues to perform at the plate and in the field. Everyone seems to be waiting for Shaw to taper off, but the reality is that he’s consistently played at an all-star level dating back to the second-half of last season.


Buchholz — It was Star Wars Night at Fenway, but the force certainly wasn’t with Clay in this one. He gave up a run in the first inning, two in the second, and another in the third. But really, it could’ve been much worse. Buchholz allowed men to reach second and third with no outs in the first two innings, but was bailed out by a couple of line drives hit right at Travis Shaw. It was certainly a step backwards for Buchholz after pitching so well his last time out. It’s still tough to see him ever pitching his way out of the rotation, but he allows the conversation to persist.

Vazquez — The young catcher was the only member of the starting-nine without a hit, finishing 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. Vazquez’s average sits at .208, and given Ryan Hanigan’s equally punchless bat, the Red Sox seem to have abandoned the idea of getting production out of the catching position entirely, prioritizing defense and game-calling.

Farrell — Buchholz was bad, but I still think he should’ve pitched the sixth. The Sox were up 9-4, and while his 87 pitches mounted quickly, he surely had enough left for at least one more inning. Especially considering the uncertainty of what O’Sullivan (first start of season) will provide on the mound Tuesday night, it would’ve made sense to save as many bullpen arms as possible.


Eduardo Rodriguez isn’t ready to rejoin the rotation quite yet, but he’s close.

After Monday’s game, John Farrell announced that Rodriguez will be making at least one more start for Triple-A-Pawtucket. His next scheduled start is Friday Night.

Coming off a right knee injury that sidelined him for all of spring training, Rodriguez has had three rehab starts with Pawtucket, compiling a 4.70 ERA.

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