Friday, June 20, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Athletics 4, Red Sox 2
By Eric Gilmore | Special to ESPNBoston.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Second baseman Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth home run of the season and his 23rd double, but the Boston Red Sox opened their 10-game road trip Thursday night with a 4-2 loss to the Oakland A's as their three-game winning streak ended at the O.co Coliseum.
A's left-hander Scott Kazmir (9-2) outdueled Red Sox righty Jake Peavy (1-5), who lost his fifth straight game. Kazmir struck out eight, walked none and gave up two runs on four hits over seven innings.
Pedroia's two-run shot in the sixth inning cut Oakland's lead to 3-2, but that's as close as the Red Sox got against the A's, who own baseball's best record at 45-28.
Still streaking: Peavy is still searching for his first win since April 25 at Toronto. Peavy allowed four runs, three of them earned, over 6 1/3 innings. He gave up five hits, struck out four and walked three. In his previous start, Peavy allowed one run on seven hits over six innings and got a no-decision in a 2-1 loss to Cleveland. He wasn't that solid this time, but he kept Boston in the game.
Close call: A.J. Pierzynski nearly pulled the Red Sox even in the top of the ninth. With Pedroia on second after doubling and two outs, Pierzynski lined a deep shot to center field off Dan Otero, but Coco Crisp caught it at the wall, ending the game.
Muscling up: Pedroia's home run off Kazmir was his first blast since June 7 off Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer. Pedroia's home run barely cleared the low fence in left field, and the A's Yoenis Cespedes nearly made a leaping catch to rob him.
Self-inflicted wound: The Red Sox gave up an unearned run in the second inning when Peavy made a questionable decision and third baseman Xander Bogaerts a costly throwing error. With no outs and runners on first and second for the A's, catcher Derek Norris hit a hard comebacker to Peavy. Instead of throwing to second to start a likely double play, Peavy threw to third. Bogaerts caught the ball on the run for the force then made an off-balance throw to first that went wide right. Both runners advanced on the error, and former Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie scored from third on Stephen Vogt's groundout.
Bogaerts bounces back: After his second-inning throwing error, Bogaerts made a pair of slick, bare-handed grabs of ground balls followed by solid throws to first. He retired catcher John Jaso in the third and Cespedes in the fifth.
Daily double: Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has only one home run this season, but he hit his 13th double of the season in the third inning, showing good opposite-field power. Bradley pounded left-hander Scott Kazmir's 1-0 fastball to the base of the left-center-field fence with one out. He advanced to third on Brock Holt's groundout but was stranded when Kazmir retired Bogaerts on a fly ball to right.
No-doubt blast: Cespedes showed off his power in the third, crushing a solo home run over the high wall in left-center. Peavy nearly had a 1-2-3 inning, but he threw an 89 mph fastball down the middle, and Cespedes made him pay, hitting his 14th home run of the season to give the A's a 2-0 lead.
Rest for the weary: Designated hitter David Ortiz got most of the night off, but he pinch-hit in the eighth and struck out swinging against A's reliever Luke Gregerson. Ortiz is expected to return to the lineup Friday night. Red Sox manager John Farrell gave the 38-year-old Ortiz a break after the team's long, cross-country flight and early-morning arrival in the Bay Area