Wade Miley threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the Red Sox' 2-0 win over the A's. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Led by Wade Miley, Red Sox squeak past Athletics, 2-0

Ryan Hannable
May 13, 2015 - 2:12 pm
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Things didn't look good at the start for Red Sox starter Wade Miley -- walking the first two batters of the game on nine pitches. But, the Athletics didn't score in the inning, setting up the theme of the game for Miley -- getting into trouble, but being able to get out of it. Led by Miley, the Red Sox were able to outlast Sonny Gray and the A's, taking the rubber game of the series, 2-0. Miley went 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run on five hits, while walking four and striking out one. The left-hander picked up his first win since April 21, after he came into the game a loser in his last three starts. Although the A's threatened in many innings, Miley was able to escape damage with the A's going 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position. "Three starts ago I really felt like I was getting a better feel for where I wanted to be with my mechanics and I was trying to build off that," Miley said. "[Wednesday] was one of those days, just a grind. They were hitting some pitches, finding some holes, getting on base. The first inning I didn'€™t really help, walking the first two guys, but after - I definitely am going in the right direction." "I think you look at the last three, there'€™s been more consistency, there'€™s been, I thought, better stuff in the bottom of the strike zone," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Even the game in Toronto in which he came away with a loss, I thought he pitched better than the line. Today that showed up to be the case." Gray picked up a tough loss as he went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits, while striking out nine. The A's ace retired last 13 batters he faced. It was his first loss of the season, as he entered the game 4-0. The Red Sox scored their first run of the game in the second inning. Hanley Ramirez led the inning off with a single and after two strikeouts, Ramirez advanced to second on a wild pitch and was driven in on a two-out single by Daniel Nava. The visitors were able to add an insurance run in the eighth inning when Nava scored on an error with two outs by shortstop Marcus Semien, as his throw on a ground ball in the hole air-mailed first base. It was ruled a single with Nava scoring on the error. It was the Red Sox' first series win since April 29 at home against the Blue Jays. Overall they are 2-6 in their last eight series' after starting the year 3-0-1. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Nava. His two-out RBI single in the second inning proved to be the difference. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Nava, who got the start at first base for Mike Napoli, went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in the win. It was his first multi-hit game since April 11. He also scored the insurance run in the eighth inning. "We knew who we were up against today. We knew it was a good pitcher," Nava said. "Obviously this year he's pitched well, so any runs that we could get early is obviously good, to allow Wade to get into a rhythm, and he pitched great today, got out of a couple of jams. That's a good confidence booster for him. Everyone knows what he's capable of. Hopefully he can build off this one. When he got taken out, all of us were pumped to see that he was able to dodge some stuff. What was crucial was that he went after guys when he did get in those spots. That's what he tries to do every time." -- Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-4 in the win to extend his hit streak to seven games. He is hitting .346 in that span. -- Ramirez went 2-for-4, while scoring the first run of the game. He entered the game 0 for his last 8, so the two hits should help get him going after returning from his shoulder injury last weekend. -- Junichi Tazawa recorded the final out in the seventh and threw a scoreless eighth inning, while Koji Uehara pitched the ninth to pick up his seventh save. WHAT WENT WRONG -- Mookie Betts went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Overall, he's 0 for his last 9. -- Brock Holt went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. His average for the season is now down to .292 after being over .400 just over a week ago. -- As a team, the Red Sox struck out 11 times. The entered the game with just 220 on the year, the fourth-fewest in the American League. Rob Bradford contributed to this report