Athletics beat Red Sox 5-4 in 10 innings
OAKLAND – After an early flurry of runs, the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox struggled to generate any offense until Kevin Kouzmanoff finally came through.
Kouzmanoff’s two-out RBI single capped a wild 10th inning and the Oakland Athletics rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Tuesday night.
The 10th inning featured a slick double play by Oakland, three Boston pitchers in the bottom half and a pair of ejections before Kouzmanoff drove in the first run since the third.
“It wasn’t the best offensive performance,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “But obviously when the game ended, we had enough to win.”
After Coco Crisp was ejected by plate umpire Bob Davidson following a strikeout to lead off the 10th, Daric Barton singled off Ramon Ramirez (0-3). Barton advanced to second when Davidson called a balk on Ramirez.
“I didn’t see it,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He saw something that nobody else in our dugout saw.”
The Red Sox then intentionally walked Kurt Suzuki before Dustin Richardson came in and struck out Adam Rosales. Boston pitching coach John Farrell was ejected by Davidson during that at-bat for arguing a checked swing call.
Kouzmanoff then lined a single to right field off Michael Bowden and Barton slid in safely ahead of J.D. Drew’s throw home.
“It was up in the zone,” Bowden said. “He did what he should have done to it.”
Andrew Bailey (1-3) pitched two innings for the win. He was helped by a double play in the 10th when shortstop Cliff Pennington ranged up the middle, flipped the ball to second baseman Mark Ellis, who barehanded it and threw to first to get Bill Hall.
“Two very unflashy players making a play like that. It was a lot of fun,” Ellis said. “It was a key moment of the game too.”
A’s relievers combined for 5 1-3 scoreless innings.
Oakland left-hander Dallas Braden struggled in his first start back from the disabled list and was unable to make it out of the fifth.
That kept him winless in nine starts since throwing a perfect game against Tampa Bay on May 9 – the longest such streak ever after a perfect game, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous long was eight winless starts by Mark Buehrle last season.
Braden was replaced after hitting J.D. Drew with a pitch to put runners on first and second with two outs in the fifth. Ross Wolf came on and walked Mike Cameron to load the bases before getting Hall on a groundout.
Braden allowed four runs – one earned – and 10 hits.
“We won,” Braden said. “The elbow is not out on the mound. The elbow is on the arm. All signs are positive.”
The Red Sox loaded the bases again in the sixth when Wolf intentionally walked David Ortiz with one out. Michael Wuertz made the move pay off when he came in and struck out Kevin Youkilis and got Adrian Beltre on a groundout.
“We didn’t get a big hit with two outs,” Francona said. “The game started off real well. We didn’t tack on. If we tacked on at one point, it would have probably been too much.”
With Clay Buchholz set to come off the disabled list Wednesday and Josh Beckett ready to return two days later, Tim Wakefield’s spot in Boston’s rotation could be in jeopardy. He was unable to hold onto a 4-0 lead, allowing a two-run double to Jack Cust during Oakland’s four-run third inning.
Wakefield lasted six innings, allowing three earned runs, three hits and three walks.
The Red Sox took a 4-0 lead after two innings despite having one runner thrown out at the plate and nearly a second caught on the bases. Ortiz was caught at home on a sharp relay from left fielder Rajai Davis to shortstop Cliff Pennington to Suzuki on Youkilis’ RBI double in the first inning.
Then with a runner on second and one out in the second, Hall singled to right field. Gabe Gross made a strong throw home, forcing Cameron to stop at third. Suzuki then tried to catch Hall rounding too far past first, but his throw went into right field. Cameron scored and Hall advanced to second on the error.
Two-out RBI doubles by Marco Scutaro and Darnell McDonald increased the damage as Boston got three unearned runs in the second.
NOTES: Crisp snapped an 0-for-18 slump when he doubled in the third inning. … Red Sox INF Jed Lowrie (mononucleosis) joined the team in the Bay Area and could be activated from the DL soon. … Boston C Victor Martinez (left thumb) did some catching drills and took swings from both sides before the game.
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