- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Oakland is in a pitching rut, and for now at least, there doesn’t seem to be many answers as to why.

Jackie Bradley Jr. had two home runs and six RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 17 games, and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Athletics with a 13-3 win on Wednesday night.

Boston scored six runs in the first four innings and then had four more in the fifth to post its third straight game with at least 10 runs. Dustin Pedroia added a home run and the Red Sox finished with a season-high 17 hits.

The Red Sox outscored the Athletics 40-15 for the series.

“Tough series for us, team’s playing hot, swinging the bats well, doing everything right,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re playing out of position. The bullpen’s in disarray for us.”

Oakland in particular had no pitching that could tame Bradley, who for the series finished 8 for 14 with three homers and 13 RBIs.

The A’s have lost a season-high five straight and fell to a season-low six games below .500. The losing skid is their longest since September of last year.

Rick Porcello (6-1) got the win, and has now pitched six or more innings in 15 straight starts - extending the longest active streak in the majors.

Eric Surkamp (0-3) took the loss after giving up four runs in just 2 2-3 innings of work.

Bradley also had six RBI in the series opener on Monday.

The Athletics have now allowed 11 or more runs in each of their last four games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

The A’s have allowed 51 runs and 60 hits in their last four games, tying a franchise record.

“Embarrassing. They scored like 10 runs in each game,” Josh Reddick said.

Melvin said it’s surprising how unreliable the pitching has been this year.

“It’s been several years since - at least since I’ve been here - that we’ve gone through something like this,” he said. “No one said it was going to be easy.”

Boston has thrived early in games this season and entered Wednesday having outscored its opponents 38-11 in the first inning. This time it took an inning before its bats came to life.

Bradley started it off with his first home run off the roof of Red Sox’s bullpen that put Boston in front 3-1. It was his second home run of the series and fifth during his streak.

Oakland tied it in the third inning with Khris Davis’s two-run single. Boston then came right back in its half of the inning to retake the lead for good on Chris Young’s RBI double off Fenway’s green monster.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: INF Danny Valencia was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday and appeared in two games before leaving Monday’s opener against Boston because of tightness in his left hamstring after one at-bat. Melvin said Valencia is making progress, but they don’t want to rush him. “Better today. With the off day tomorrow, it makes some sense to get him through the off day,” he said. “Again he’s not pushing it so he can get to the point where he’s not worrying about it.”

Red Sox: Manager John Farrell said the window for the return RHP Joe Kelly (right shoulder impingement) and LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right knee) from the disabled list could be somewhat tricky because of a few oddly placed off days for Boston on May 19 and 23. Kelly pitched a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket Wednesday and Rodriguez next one is set for Friday. “We’ve got a lot of flexibility coming up,” Farrell said.

UP NEXT

Athletics: Oakland is off Thursday before heading to Tampa Friday to begin a three-game series against the Rays. LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 2.39 ERA) went 5 2-3 innings in his last start May 7 at Baltimore, striking out five and giving just two hits.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (4-1, 6.75) will be on the mound as Boston’s opens a four-game series against the Astros Thursday. Price is 3-2 in six starts against Houston, with a 2.89 ERA and 49 strikeouts.

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