OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Alfredo Aceves chased Jonny Gomes’ foul pop past the first-base line, ran into catcher Jarrod
Saltalamacchia and the ball bounced out of the pitcher’s glove.
Officially, that was one of two errors by the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.
But that only began to explain the many miscues and mistakes in another loss.
Dustin Pedroia’s two-out RBI single in the sixth was all Boston could squeeze out of starter A.J. Griffin, losing 7-1 to the
Oakland Athletics for its fifth straight loss.
“It’s getting old. It’s real old,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “The offense is stressed. It’s a tough way to play
Especially against an opponent on a hot streak.
Coco Crisp hit a leadoff home run and finished a triple shy of the cycle, and Brandon Inge’s two-run double highlighted a four-run third inning against lefty Felix Doubront (10-7) to power Oakland to its season-high eighth straight win. Inge injured his troublesome right shoulder making a throw from third the inning prior and did not return. He said he will likely have season-ending surgery next week.
Chris Carter added his 13th homer to lead another overpowering A’s victory. Oakland pounded Boston 20-2 on Friday to hand the franchise its most lopsided loss in more than a decade.
“It’s tough trying to come out and get on the board first,” Pedroia said. “It is something we haven’t done for a while.”
Griffin (4-0) retired the first 14 batters until Saltalamacchia’s bunt single with the infield shifted. The rookie right-hander struck out five and walked none while giving up three hits in seven innings.
The low-budget A’s, which won 74 games last year, improved to 75-57. Oakland leads Baltimore (73-59) for the first of two AL wild-card spots. Tampa Bay (72-61) is behind Baltimore.
Oakland’s power at the plate has shown no signs of slowing down.
Crisp clocked a 1-2 fastball over the wall in left for his third leadoff home run of the season. The solo shot gave Oakland eight batters with at least 10 home runs for the first time since 2004.
Yoenis Cespedes singled home Gomes in the third and Inge added a two-run double in the inning that bounced off the glove of right fielder Cody Ross, whose right shoulder slammed into the wall and had to be checked by trainers. He stayed in the game.
“When you’re not playing well, stuff happens,” Ross said. “It would be worrisome if we were just sitting back and letting it happen. When you’re not playing well, guys get upset. It happens.”
Derek Norris also had a two-out RBI single to finish off the four-run inning and give the A’s a 5-0 lead. All Oakland really had to do was stay steady behind Griffin’s gem.
The Red Sox did the rest.
In what turned out to be a comedy of errors, Doubront cutoff the throw from center on Norris’ single, but nobody covered first base. The pitcher had to chase Norris back to the bag, diving for the tag as Norris slid in safely. Aceves dropped Gomes foul pop in the fourth.
Pedroia and Aceves also appeared to get into an argument in the Red Sox dugout in the top of the fifth. Third base coach Jerry Royster separated them. Valentine said the conversation between the two teammates was about “positioning.” Pedroia said the exchange would remain private.
“Nobody was upset,” Aceves said. “It’s all good.”
Saltalamacchia added another questionable move.
He bunted for a single with the infield shifted with two outs in the fifth for Boston’s first baserunner. The Oakland Coliseum crowd, announced at 20,315, showered the catcher with boos and every time his name was announced. Griffin said “it is what it is” about the bunt and shook his head when pressed about his thoughts.
For most of the night, the home fans had reason to cheer.
At least until the final result.
Inge, now 35, was released after 11-plus seasons by Detroit in April. He still plans to dress and travel with the team following surgery, he said, and will wait for the final prognosis from doctors before saying for sure that his season is finished.
“You never know,” he said, smiling. “I could still hit in situations. Bring a lefty in, you never know.”
Adam Rosales shifted to third base and Cliff Pennington took over at second. …. Former A’s closer Andrew Bailey struck out Cespedes in the eighth in his first appearance with Boston at the Coliseum. … Lefty Brett Anderson (2-0, 0.64 ERA) will start for the A’s against RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 5.10 ERA) in Sunday’s series finale.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)