Major League Baseball
Preview
Boston at Oakland
When: 10:05 PM ET, Friday, April 20, 2018
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California

Since losing their season opener, the Boston Red Sox have gone on to win 16 of 17 contests and sport the best record in the major leagues. Boston looks to extend its winning streak to eight games when it visits the Oakland Athletics on Friday for the opener of their three-game series.

The Red Sox kicked off their nine-game road trip with a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels during which they scored 27 runs while allowing only three and belted 11 homers. It marked the first time the Red Sox reached double digits in blasts in a three-game series since June 2003 against the Florida Marlins and first occasion they did it in a set on the road since 1997 at Toronto. Mookie Betts opened Thursday's 8-2 triumph with his 13th career leadoff homer and second of the series, as he hit four of his six shots of the year in the three-game set. Oakland is coming off a three-game sweep of its own as it outscored the Chicago White Sox 18-3 over the first two contests before outlasting them 12-11 in 14 innings in Wednesday's finale.

TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), NBCS California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (2017: 17-6, 3.32 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Kendall Graveman (0-3, 9.87)

Pomeranz will be making his season debut after recovering from the forearm strain he suffered in his first start this spring. The 29-year-old native of Tennessee is coming off a career year in which he recorded 17 victories and led the major leagues with 23 starts in which he allowed fewer than three runs. Pomeranz has given up three runs - two earned - over 10 innings while notching one victory in two career turns against Oakland, his employers for two seasons (2014-15).

Graveman's season has gotten off to a rough start as he has surrendered five runs in three of his four outings and served up a total of six homers in 17 1/3 innings. The 27-year-old from Alabama, who has yet to work more than five frames, yielded five runs and eight hits over four innings in a loss at Seattle on Saturday. Graveman has pitched well against Boston in his career but has nothing to show for it as he has yet to record a victory despite allowing only four runs over 19 1/3 frames in four appearances (three starts).

WALK-OFFS

1. The Red Sox are the fifth major-league team since 1920 to win at least 16 of its first 18 games and first since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.

2. Athletics OF Stephen Piscotty is riding an eight-game hitting streak during which he has gone 13-for-31 and recorded five two-hit performances.

3. Oakland traded OF Trayce Thompson to the White Sox for a player to be named or cash and optioned RHP Lou Trivino to Triple-A Nashville.

PREDICTION: Red Sox 7, Athletics 5
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Boston 16-2 W7 8-1 8-1 11-2 0-0 3-0 2-0
Oakland 9-10 W4 6-5 3-5 0-0 3-0 5-9 1-1
Last Meeting
Boston Oakland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/14/17 OAK 2 BOS 6 .290 1 .872 .258 1 .804
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston N/A
Oakland N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston M. Barnes 0 0 0
Oakland P. Blackburn 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 0.00 .000 0
Oakland 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston M. Betts .391 25 1.277
Oakland J. Lowrie .346 28 1.009
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston M. Betts 6 22 14
Oakland J. Lowrie 6 11 21
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 2.62 .292 181
Oakland 4.63 .270 136