Boston, MA – Seth Smith drove in a pair of runs and Brandon McCarthy shut down Boston's bats over 6 2/3 solid frames, as Oakland downed Boston, 4-2, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Fenway Park
McCarthy (2-3) was steady if not spectacular at times, surrendering just one run on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks for his second straight win. Brian Fuentes nailed down his first save of the season in place of Grant Balfour for the A's, winners of two straight.
Daniel Bard (2-3) took the loss, giving up four runs on eight hits with two walks and one strikeout over 5 1/3 innings. Dustin Pedroia and Marlon Byrd drove in runs for the Red Sox, who have dropped three of four.
After three scoreless frames, the A's struck first off Bard in the fourth. Yoenis Cespedes doubled over Byrd in center and scored when Smith's grounder found the grass in right field. The A's had men on the corners when Brandon Inge grounded out to end the frame.
Bard started getting pitches up in the zone during the sixth, and the A's made him pay with a crooked number. Josh Reddick singled to left, and with one out, Smith launched a high and outside pitch over Cody Ross' glove in left for a run-scoring double. Kila Ka'aihue followed with a line-drive double into the pesky right-field corner that scored Smith.
Kurt Suzuki was plunked by a pitch and Inge followed with a double that plated Ka'aihue for a 4-0 lead. Matt Albers cut down the A's without further damage by retiring two straight batters with runners at second and third.
Boston finally got to McCarthy in the seventh and had an opportunity for a lot more. Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and Will Middlebrooks stroked a two-bagger down the line in right. Byrd drove home the run with a sacrifice fly to left, and after Mike Aviles popped out, McCarthy walked Ryan Sweeney on a borderline pitch to end his night. New hurler Ryan Cook promptly walked Pedroia and fell behind Adrian Gonzalez before coming back to record a big strikeout.
Pedroia doubled home Aviles in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate in Gonzalez, but the Red Sox slugger grounded out to third to end the game.
Boston dropped to 4-7 at Fenway Park this season...The Red Sox haven't been in last place this late in a season since 1996...Bard had allowed just one run in 14 career innings versus the A's before Wednesday...McCarthy improved to 2-3 lifetime versus the Red Sox...Middlebrooks finished 2-for-3 in his big-league debut.