BOSTON (AP) _ Brandon McCarthy beat an AL East opponent once
again, holding Boston to one run over 6 2-/3 innings as the Oakland
Athletics defeated the Red Sox 4-2 Wednesday night.

Seth Smith drove in a pair of runs for Oakland. The A’s, who
started the day with the majors’ worst batting average and fewest
runs in the AL, took two of three games from the Red Sox.
Boston has lost seven of its last eight in Fenway Park.
McCarthy (2-3) allowed five hits, walked three and fanned four.
He improved to 8-0 with a 3.34 ERA since 2009 against AL East

Brian Fuentes gave up Dustin Pedroia’s RBI double in the ninth,
but got his first save.

Daniel Bard (2-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on eight
hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, recalled earlier in the
day when Kevin Youkilis was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained
lower back, went 2 for 3 with a double and a stolen base in his
first major league game.

David Ortiz went 2 for 4 and is hitting .488 in Fenway.
Bard breezed through the first three innings, allowing only
Cliff Pennington’s first-inning single and a walk in each of the
next two before the A’s grabbed a 1-0 lead on Smith’s RBI single in
the fourth.

They took advantage of left fielder Cody Ross misplaying Smith’s
RBI double in the sixth, scored three runs and chased Bard to open
a 4-0 edge.

Smith lofted a fly near the corner that Ross overran, and the
ball bounced on the track behind him. Kila Ka’aihue followed with a
double into the right-field corner and, after Bard hit Kurt Suzuki
on the left hand, Brandon Inge had an RBI double. Matt Albers got
the next two batters, stranding runners on second and third.
Boston had the first two runners on in the fifth, but Marlon
Byrd failed on two sacrifice attempts before popping out. McCarthy
then easily retired the next two hitters _ Mike Aviles and Ryan

Byrd’s sacrifice fly made it 4-1 in the seventh.
Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez struck out with the bases loaded to end
the seventh and bounced out to end the game. He went 0 for 4 and is
hitless for his last 15 at-bats.

NOTES: Middlebrooks drew a four-pitch walk in his first plate
appearance, then stole his first base four pitches later. He had an
infield hit in his first at-bat. … The teams wore 1936 throwback
uniforms. That year, the A’s _ then in Philadelphia _ sold Jimmie
Foxx to the Red Sox. His daughter, Nanci Foxx Canaday, was at the
game. … Oakland 2B Jemile Weeks was out with a strained groin and
manager Bob Melvin felt it would be best to rest him with an
off-day on Thursday. … Boston C Jarrod Saltalamacchia turned 27

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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