Sonny Gray versus the Boston Red Sox Photo credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne
By Charlie O. Mallonee
The Oakland A’s defeated the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in 10-innings on Sunday to avoid being swept in the three-game series. The win also gave the A’s a 6-4 record for their very tough 10-game road trip. The victory keeps Oakland in first-place in the American League West.
The A’s scored the winning run in the top of the 10th-inning. With two out, Jed Lowrie hit a double (10) to center field. The Red Sox then intentionally walked Josh Donaldson. Alberto Callaspo drew a six-pitch walk to load the bases. Following a pitching change, Yoenis Cespedes stepped into the batter’s box. With a 0-2 count, Cespedes hit a slow roller to the third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Cespedes used his speed to safely reach first on a “bang-bang” play that allowed Lowrie to score. The run made it a 3-2 game and the A’s set the Sox down in order in the bottom of the 10th-inning to earn the win.
Sonny Gray started the game for Oakland and posted a no-decision. Gray worked 6.0 innings giving up 2-runs (both earned) on six-hits. Gray struck out three Red Sox hitters and walked two. He threw 102 pitches (60 strikes) while facing 24 batters.
Fernando Abad, Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle combined for 2.1-innings of relief for the A’s. With one-out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jim Johnson entered the game for Oakland. Johnson induced Jonny Gomes to ground into an inning ending double-play. Johnson faced just three hitters in the bottom of the 10th-inning to earn his third win of the season.
The A’s were led by Cespedes who went two for five in the game hitting a double (9) and the game-winning infield single. Brandon Moss went two for four and recorded a RBI. Josh Donaldson was just one for two at the plate but drew three walks and scored two runs.
John Lackey started the game for the Red Sox. Lackey pitched six-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on five hits. He struck out four A’s while walking three. Lackey threw 107 pitches (70 strikes) and faced 25 hitters in a no-decision.
The loss was hung on Boston reliever Chris Capuano (1-1). Capuano entered the game in the top of the 10th-inning and was responsible for Lowrie who scored the winning run.
The Red Sox were led on offense by A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski went two for four and hit his third home run of the season in the seventh-inning to tie the game at 2-2. Mike Carp also went two for four and scored a run for the Sox.
The A’s open a 10-game home-stand on Monday night with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariner series will be a four-game series that includes a traditional double-header on Wednesday. The double-header is necessary to make up the game was postponed on April 5th due to wet grounds. Oakland will probably have to call up a pitcher from Triple-A Sacramento to start one of the games on Wednesday.
The A’s will face the Washington Nationals for three-games next weekend and close out the home-stand with three-games versus the Chicago White Sox.