Instant Replay: Athletics 6, Red Sox 2

September 2, 2012, 10:58 pm
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OAKLAND The As attacked Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka out of the gate and benefited from another quality start from Brett Anderson to complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox with a 6-2 win Sunday at the O.co Coliseum.The As outscored the Red Sox 33-5 in the series and finished 8-1 against Boston this season, which tops their 18-3 record against Boston in 1928.Oakland has now won nine straight games and remains just three games back of the Texas Rangers in the American League West.Starting pitching reportIn his third start since a 14-month layoff due to Tommy John surgery, Anderson had his worst start of the season. Anderson allowed one run in six innings; thats how high he set the bar in his first two starts. Anderson allowed one run in seven innings in his 2012 debut on Aug. 21 and then came back with seven shutout innings on Aug. 27 at Cleveland.Anderson needed just 11 pitches to get through the first inning, in which the only blemish was a single by Dustin Pedroia that extended his hit streak to 13 games. The As southpaw was even more efficient in the second, as he threw 10 pitches in a 1-2-3 inning that ended with a strikeout of Mike Aviles.The Red Sox continued to flail against Andersons arsenal, as they could muster a lone single in the third through fifth innings. Anderson struck out two and got five more of his outs on the ground over that span.Anderson finally ran into his first real trouble in the sixth, when he walked Bostons No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias to lead off the inning. Iglesias was forced out at second on Pedro Ciriacos near-double play grounder and Anderson followed by inducing a pop up off the bat of Scott Podsednik. Unfortunately for Anderson and the As, the pop up found some empty real estate on the line in shallow left. Pedroia followed with a sharp grounder that Josh Donaldson made a great diving stop on, but he couldnt complete the play as the Red Sox loaded the bases.Cody Ross stroked a clean single to left to plate the first run against Anderson, but Yoenis Cespedes made sure Boston didnt get a second across with a perfect throw home to nail Podsednik. Anderson ended the inning emphatically with a strikeout of Mauro Gomez.After watching Anderson throw 90 pitches on the afternoon, As manager Bob Melvin decided to play it safe with a comfortable lead and turned to his bullpen in the seventh.Anderson improved to 3-0 on the season, but had his miniscule ERA jump to 0.90. He allowed one run on five hits and a walk in six innings and struck out four Red Sox, all swinging. Sixty of his 90 pitches were thrown for strikes.Bullpen reportOne-time closer Ryan Cook got the first nod from Melvin to relieve Anderson and set the Red Sox down in order, including an inning-ending strikeout of James Loney, the man with the unenviable task of taking over for Adrian Gonzalez.Sean Doolittle followed with a scoreless inning of his own before Grant Balfour took over in the ninth. Dustin Pedroia led off the final frame with a double and came around to score on a sacrifice fly, but Balfour bounced back to end the game with a strikeout of Ryan Lavarnway.At the plateThe As wasted no time pouncing on Daisuke Matsuzaka. Coco Crisp forced Dice-K to throw seven pitches as he coaxed a leadoff walk, then came around to score on a towering drive into the right-centerfield seats by Seth Smith.Matsuzaka left a pitch over the middle of the plate in the second inning that Stephen Drew turned on for his first home run as a member of the Athletics.Crisp and Smith combined to start another As rally in the third inning. Crisp led off the frame with another walk, stole second, and advanced to third on Smiths line drive single to right. Crisp scored his second run and the As fourth when Josh Reddick lifted a sacrifice fly to left-centerfield. But the As werent done yet. After Cespedes hit a fly ball to right for the second out, Oakland loaded the bases with a Brandon Moss single and Josh Donaldson walk. A visibly upset Matsuzaka then gave up a single to Drew that scored Smith. Matsuzaka left the bases loaded by striking out Derek Norris, but departed the mound after the fourth inning having allowed five runs and thrown 78 pitches, 45 for strikes.Much maligned manager Bobby Valentine allowed Matsuzaka to try to complete his first scoreless inning, but the move backfired. Cliff Pennington led off the fourth with a bunt single and came around to score on a bases-loaded groundout from Cespedes. Chris Carter, brought in to pinch hit when Valentine pulled Matsuzaka for lefty Andrew Miller, struck out to end the threat.Once Matsuzaka left the game, the As had a hard time piling on more runs, as they were held scoreless by the Boston bullpen the rest of the way.In fieldReddick made a running catch of Jose Iglesias sinking line drive on the 10-yard line in right field.Reddick has racked up his fair share of outfield assists this season, but it was Cespedes turn to show off his cannon Sunday. With the bases loaded against Anderson in the sixth, Ross singled to left and Red Sox third base coach Jerry Royster tried to push a second run across. Cespedes charged the ball and threw a perfect no-hop strike to Norris at home plate to beat speedster Scott Podsednik and keep the As lead at 6-1.On the basesAfter working his second walk in two plate appearances in the third inning, Crisp took off for second and stole his 31st base of the season without a throw from Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway.Pennington showed off some wheels in the fourth, racing down the first-base line for a bunt single before stealing second for his 15th theft of the campaign.AttendanceThe As announced a paid crowd of 25,314 on Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The event raised 53,600 for the American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.Up nextThe streaking As will look to match their longest win streak since the legendary 20-gamer with a victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which would be their 10th straight. Young southpaw Tommy Milone (11-9, 3.73 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener in Anaheim and the Angels will start Oakland Public Enemy No. 1 C.J. Wilson (10-9, 3.86 ERA).

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