Nick Pivetta Pushes Through Tough Start Vs. A’s

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The Boston Red Sox could not recover from an early deficit in a 5-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

Nick Pivetta had dominated the Athletics during his Red Sox career. He wasn’t as sharp on Wednesday.

The righty faced nine hitters in the third inning while allowing three runs and walking a pair. Oakland took advantage and rode the early momentum against the Red Sox.

“We put ourselves in a bad spot,” Alex Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Overall, the eight strikeouts or whatever it was. After that, he found it and he was really good. Toward the end, we pushed him there.”

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“I just didn’t throw strikes in the third inning,” Pivetta told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.”

As Cora alluded to, Pivetta certainly did settle in, striking out eight straight hitters for the second time this season — that tied a career high and franchise record. He accomplished the feat back on May 30 as well against the Detroit Tigers. Surprisingly, both starts with that trend led to losses for Boston.

“I’m always grateful to be in the position to do things like that,” Pivetta added. “It’s always good.”

With 6 2/3 innings against Oakland, Wednesday marked Pivetta’s final start before the Red Sox hit the All-Star break. The veteran dominated his first two starts of 2024 before having to grind back to form after a stint on the injured list. With a string of starts since then, Pivetta felt optimistic for his second half.

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“Not too bad, given the circumstance coming back from the IL,” Pivetta said. “I feel like I’m getting much healthier. Much stronger. From here out, hopefully things stay in the same zone. I think there’s more to improve on. I think there’s a better half coming for me in the second half.”

Here are more notes from Wednesday’s Athletics-Red Sox game:

— Both starting pitchers threw more than 100 pitches on the night.

— Oakland earned its first win at Fenway Park since June 16, 2022. That snapped a four-game losing streak against the Red Sox in that span.

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— The Red Sox fell to 12-13 against left-handed starting pitchers in 2024, as referenced by Tom Caron on the NESN broadcast.

— Jamie Westbrook got his first start in the lineup since the Red Sox recalled him from Triple-A Worcester.

— Boston falls to 5-31 when scoring less than four runs.

— The Red Sox and Athletics close out their three-game series Thursday night. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. You can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

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