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16-2 Red Sox seek 8th win in row at A's

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics take a step up in class when they attempt to improve upon their four-game winning streak Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.

The A's will send staff ace Kendall Graveman (0-3, 9.87 ERA) in search of his first win of the season against Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who is expected to be activated off the disabled list in time to make his first start of 2018.

Oakland used a "Free Baseball" promotion to attract more fans to the ballpark, then thrilled them with a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox earlier this week. The A's scored at least eight runs in all three wins of the fan-friendly series.

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Mariners activate C Zunino from DL

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) The Seattle Mariners have activated catcher Mike Zunino from the 10-day disabled list after missing the first three weeks of the season because of a strained abdominal muscle.

Seattle activated Zunino on Friday ahead of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. Mike Marjama was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma to clear the roster spot.

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Rays' Kiermaier undergoes thumb surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier has had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb that will sideline him two to three months.

Kiermaier was injured sliding headfirst into second base during a 10-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. He had the procedure Friday.

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Ex-Indians slugger Napoli to miss season

CLEVELAND (AP) Former Indians slugger Mike Napoli will have season-ending knee surgery after getting hurt in the minors.

Napoli tore his right anterior cruciate ligament this week while playing for Triple-A Columbus. He will have the operation once the swelling goes down, and the Indians say that could take two weeks.

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Reds fire Price after 3-15 start

CINCINNATI (AP) The Reds' worst start since the Great Depression prompted a quick hook for Bryan Price.

Cincinnati fired its fifth-year manager on Thursday because of a 3-15 start, the first managerial change in the major leagues this season. The Reds hadn't changed managers so early in a season since Tony Perez was fired after 44 games in 1993.

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Braves' Freeman avoids serious injury

ATLANTA (AP) One-half inch may have been the difference between Freddie Freeman facing another extended stay on the disabled list and remaining in the Atlanta Braves' lineup.

The first baseman avoided serious injury when he was hit on his left wrist by a pitch from Philadelphia's Hoby Milner Wednesday night. Freeman said the ball hit one-half inch from where he was hit by a pitch last season, causing a fracture that forced him to miss seven weeks.

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Judge HR helps Yanks hold off Blue Jays

NEW YORK (AP) David Robertson went wild and loaded the bases in the eighth inning, and the Yankees weren't all that concerned.

"Whenever it's a tough situation like that, I want D-Rob on the mound," Aaron Judge said.

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Lester, Heyward lead Cubs past Cards

CHICAGO (AP) The Cubs made Jon Lester's job easier by staking him to an early lead.

Lester was dominant through six innings of two-hit ball in his 100th start with the Cubs, Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer and Chicago defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 on Thursday.

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Greinke extends D-backs' series streak

PHOENIX (AP) A 10-inning loss on Wednesday night stung the Arizona Diamondbacks. They let too many opportunities slip away and put their run of series victories in jeopardy.

A dominant performance by Zack Greinke and clutch hitting kept the streak going.

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