Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy,

The Red Sox completed a series sweep of the Oakland Athletics Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park with a 7-3 victory.

W: Marcus Walden (4-0)

L: Mike Fiers (2-3)

Here are three takeaways from the win:

1. Bullpen pitches well again:

The Sox bullpen was well rested after Rick Porcello went eight innings Tuesday night, and Alex Cora took advantage. Opener Hector Velazquez went just two innings, but Marcus Walden gave the team some much-needed length with three scoreless innings of work.

Walden has made 11 appearances in 2019, 10 of which have been scoreless. His ERA sits at 1.65 and he has struck out 19 batters over 16 1/3 innings pitched. He leads the Red Sox in wins.

Meanwhile, Brandon Workman continued his excellent start to 2019, tossing a scoreless sixth inning. He entered the day with an MLB-best .054 batting average against. He has arguably been the Red Sox best pitcher so far this year.

2. Well-rounded effort from the bats:

Five Red Sox hitters drove in runs, including Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez, who launched solo shots:

Andrew Benintendi had two RBI, while Mookie Betts and Tzu-Wei Lin also drove in runs. The Red Sox offense woke up for parts of this series, a big reason why they were able to complete the sweep.

3. Why is Tyler Thornburg still on the Red Sox?

It’s time for Dave Dombrowski to admit he made a mistake with the Thornburg-Travis Shaw trade. The right-hander was lit up in mop-up duty again, allowing two runs and three doubles to A’s hitters. His ERA sits at 8.53.

It’s fair to wonder how much longer the Red Sox can justify Thornburg’s roster spot. It isn’t working.

Up next:

The Sox send David Price to the mound Thursday night when they open a series in Chicago against the White Sox.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.

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