Hanley Ramirez and the Red Sox offense led the team over the A's Saturday afternoon. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez, Joe Kelly power Red Sox over A's

Ryan Hannable
June 06, 2015 - 3:16 pm
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Maybe the Red Sox are turning a corner, or maybe the Athletics are that bad. Regardless of what it is, the Red Sox aren't complaining as they won their second straight game, 4-2 over the A's Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. The A's entered as one of only two teams in the American League with a record worse than the Red Sox. The home team scored early and often, scoring four runs in the first three innings to take control early and enough to hold on for the win. They got on the board in the bottom of the first when Hanley Ramirez crushed a two-run home run to dead center field. The Red Sox said it traveled 430 feet. They added two more in the third inning -- the first coming on David Ortiz's double to left and then Mike Napoli drove him in with a single to left. "It's about time," Ramirez said. "We have a couple guys on our team that are hot. I think that's why we're playing better baseball right now." Red Sox starter Joe Kelly was solid, as the right-hander went six innings allowing one run on four hits, while walking two and striking out six. He threw 100 pitches, relying heavily on his fastball. Four out of his last five starts he's allowed two earned runs or less. Alexi Ogando allowed a run in the seventh and after he allowed a leadoff walk in the eighth, Tommy Layne came in and retired two batters before issuing a walk and having Matt Barnes come in to finish the inning off. The lefty has now retired the first batter he's faced in 16 straight outings and has stranded 11 of 12 inherited runners, including his last nine. Koji Uehara pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 13th save. Every member of the Red Sox' lineup reached base with Mookie Betts the only starter not to record a hit. The team should have had more than four runs, though, as they went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Ramirez. The left fielder got the Red Sox rolling with a monster home run in the first inning. The Red Sox improved to 18-7 when scoring first. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid. Here's what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Ramirez went 3-for-5, while scoring two runs. In his last nine starts he's hitting .326 and appears to have regained some strength in his shoulder, evident by his homer. "Very good day," manager John Farrell said. "He gives us an immediate lift with a two-run homer in the first. He ran the bases well. Had three base hits on the day. Had a chance for probably a huge day, but a couple of balls right at the second baseman. He made a couple of good plays, particularly the ball off the wall in one inning to potentially cut down a play and save 90 feet at second base." -- Ortiz's double in the third inning snapped an 0-for-11 slide, but it was a good sign as he fouled off a number of pitches before going with the outside pitch and driving it to left field. Although he struck out three times in the game, he had gone 37 straight plate appearances without one. -- Pedroia finished 1-for-3, but reached base three times with two walks. He now has a six-game hit streak and is hitting .500 over that span. -- Napoli reached base three times -- a walk, a single and a double. He entered his second at-bat in a mini 0-for-7 slump. WHAT WENT WRONG -- Ogando relieved Kelly in the seventh inning and allowed a solo home run to Mark Canha. He's pitched four times in the last 11 days and has allowed at least one run in three of those outings. -- Ortiz struck out three times, the final coming against Oakland left-hander Drew Pomeranz. He's now hitting .118 against lefties this year.

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