Menu

Baseball

Oakland squanders three-run lead and chance for rare sweep of Red Sox, losing finale 5-3

Pinch-hitter Ryan Kalish hit a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth, J.D. Drew had a two-run double one batter earlier and the Boston Red Sox rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

Josh Beckett (5-4) settled down after a rocky start as Boston avoided its first sweep by the A's since May 23-25, 2008. The Red Sox have been swept in the series only three times in the last 18 years.

Dallas Braden (9-12), still trying to reach double digits in wins for the first time in his career, lost his third straight start. All the damage came in that tough sixth inning. The left-hander also struggled with location, walking four after issuing two or fewer walks in each of his previous 20 starts.

Oakland's Coco Crisp stole six bases in the series against his former team, including his career-high 29th and 30th on Sunday.

The Red Sox added an insurance run in the eighth on pitcher Jerry Blevins' wild throw past first trying to get Drew on a single. That allowed pinch-runner Josh Reddick to score.

Boston won for only the fifth time in its last 13 road games. The Red Sox still have three games in Seattle starting Monday to conclude their second-to-last trip of the year.

Jonathan Papelbon worked a perfect ninth with three called strikeouts for his 36th save in 43 chances, pitching for the first time in seven days. He threw 48 pitches in his career-high seventh blown save and loss to the White Sox on Sept. 5.

Daric Barton was ejected after the final out by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt for arguing the called third strike.

Crisp got his 29th steal in the third for a new career high, topping his 28 for the Red Sox in 2007. He stole No. 30 in the sixth — and on a day Hall of Fame speedster and Crisp mentor Rickey Henderson gave a pushup demonstration in the clubhouse pregame to show he still has it at 51.

This marked the first time the Red Sox gave up six steals to an A's player since Henderson had six from July 2-4, 1984.

Mark Ellis hit a two-run double in the fifth to put the A's up 3-0. Ellis extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games with an infield single in the second.

Cliff Pennington hit a two-out triple in the bottom of the sixth after the Red Sox took the lead, but Oakland couldn't capitalize.

Beckett ran into trouble in the third, when he walked four straight batters and issued Jack Cust's free pass to force in the first run of the game. After Kurt Suzuki drew a walk for Beckett's third consecutive base on balls, he received a mound visit from pitching coach John Farrell. Then catcher Victor Martinez came out to chat during Cust's plate appearance.

Yet Beckett got out of the inning without further damage, retiring Ellis on a called third strike and Jeremy Hermida on a liner. It was the first time he walked so many in one inning since issuing five walks in the top of the first on Sept. 23, 2004, while with Florida against Philadelphia — but those didn't all come in order. He walked four in a row for the first time in his career.

Beckett allowed three runs on five hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked five to win for the first time in three starts. He had lost two of his last three decisions but was coming off a season-best nine-strikeout performance in a no-decision against the White Sox his last time out.

The right-hander has allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last seven outings against Oakland, four of those at the Coliseum.

NOTES: Marco Scutaro again started at 2B for the Red Sox. Manager Terry Francona doesn't plan to use him every day at SS for the rest of the season because of his troublesome right shoulder. "Days when we have him scheduled to play we will always check with him in the morning to make sure there's not a setback," Francona said. ... The A's won the season series (5-4) for the first time since going 7-3 in 2006, Oakland's last playoff season. ... A's LHP Josh Outman, recovering from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, threw two sets of 20 pitches in a two-inning simulated game and felt fine. Both Outman and Joey Devine, also coming back from Tommy John, will travel with the team to Kansas City then return to Arizona on the A's off day Thursday.