Now that he’s overtaken Everett Scott for first place on a franchise career list, Xander Bogaerts will begin his chase of Nomar Garciaparra on another team list when the Boston Red Sox and host Oakland Athletics continue their three-game series on Saturday.
Bogaerts played his 1,094th game as a Red Sox shortstop on Friday night, passing Scott, who played his last game for Boston in October 1921.
Bogaerts, 29, did more than just show up in the series opener. He also contributed a home run and a two-run double in Boston’s 7-2 win.
His sixth homer of the season was his 147th as a Red Sox shortstop, moving him within 31 of Garciaparra on the team’s all-time list, which is led by Rico Petrocelli at 210.
For one night, despite Bogaerts’ two hits and three RBIs, the focus was on passing Scott, a Red Sox legend who won three World Series titles with the franchise.
“Unreal,” Boston manager Alex Cora assessed. “Just the consistency. We always talk about it. We’re very proud of him. It’s a great accomplishment in an organization that is very historic.”
In Saturday’s rematch, Bogaerts will take his cuts against Oakland right-hander Paul Blackburn (5-1, 2.15 ERA), who has never faced the Red Sox.
Blackburn was 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA in first nine starts this year before allowing a season-high four runs in 6 2/3 innings in a 5-1 home loss to the Houston Astros on Monday in his last outing.
The A’s, who have won just 20 games all season, are 8-2 in Blackburn’s starts.
Boston is scheduled to counter with its hottest pitcher — right-hander Nick Pivetta (4-4, 3.95) — as it goes for a third consecutive win.
Pivetta has won his last four starts and is unbeaten in his last five, having allowed six runs in 34 innings over that stretch.
The 29-year-old has been supported by 40 runs in the four wins.
Pivetta has faced the A’s just once and was brilliant, shutting them out on two hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win at Oakland last July 4. He struck out 10 in outdueling James Kaprielian, who was Oakland’s starting pitcher in the series opener Friday.
Oakland’s Jed Lowrie will look for his first career hit against Pivetta as he continues his march up the A’s all-time rankings.
In his 862nd game for the A’s — the third-most for a member of the franchise since 2000 — Lowrie hit two doubles in the series opener. That gave him 204 in his A’s career, tying him with Mark Ellis for eighth-most in franchise history.
“Longevity, perseverance, grind … Jed has had all of that here in Oakland,” gushed A’s manager Mark Kotsay. “It’s quite an accomplishment having that many doubles, especially with one ballclub. It’s a testament to the type of hitter he is.”
Lowrie’s second double Friday drove in Oakland’s only runs in the eighth inning.
–Field Level Media