Series: Game 2 of 3

Boston leads 2-0 (as of 5/15)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 14
Oakland 2Final
Boston 6
Game 2: Wednesday, May 15
Oakland 2Final
Boston 8
Game 3: Thursday, May 16
Oakland 5Final
Boston 0

Athletics 2

(18-21, 7-10 away)

Red Sox 8

(27-9, 10-5 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 15, 2002

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 000010010 2 - -
    BOS 31000013 - 8 - -

    W: D. Lowe (6-1)

    L: E. Hiljus (3-3)

    Daubach, Hillenbrand provide early offense

    BOSTON (AP) -- Boston's Derek Lowe kept silencing hitters and Oakland manager Art Howe decided it was time to talk to his struggling team.

    Derek Lowe

    Lowe allowed six hits in eight innings and took over the AL lead with a 2.16 ERA as the Red Sox won 8-2 Wednesday night, handing the Athletics their 10th loss in 12 games.

    "I feel like every day I'm going to go out there I'm going to win," Lowe said in his first start at Fenway Park since pitching the first no-hitter there since 1965. "I've prepared all offseason to have a good year."

    Lowe (6-1), who struggled as a closer last year, beat Oakland for the second time in six days. In his previous start, he retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.

    "He wasn't as sharp this time." Howe said. "I thought in all our other losses we battled. This one we didn't."

    So he held a team meeting after the game.

    It had "been a long time coming," Eric Chavez said. "I don't think any of us were shocked."

    Boston is 10-2 in its last 12 games, 3-0 without injured slugger Manny Ramirez and has the best record in the majors, 27-9. Starting right fielder Trot Nixon also missed the game, the second of his four-game suspension for releasing his bat in the direction of Tampa Bay pitcher Ryan Rupe on May 5.

    "We knew coming in we had a lot of depth on this club, much more depth than the Boston Red Sox club has had in the past few years," Red Sox manager Grady Little said.

    Consecutive homers by Brian Daubach and Shea Hillenbrand in the first inning gave Lowe a 3-0 lead. Hillenbrand had four hits and drove in three runs.

    Rickey Henderson hit two RBI doubles as he went 2-for-5 for the third straight game in place of Ramirez, who is out 4-to-6 weeks with a broken left index finger.

    "He'll give us a big lift when he does come back," Daubach said.

    Lowe pitched a no-hitter April 27 against Tampa Bay and is 5-0 in his last six starts. On Wednesday, he had an excellent sinkerball and threw 106 pitches. He allowed only four balls to reach the outfield with only one outfield putout.

    "I felt strong throughout," Lowe said. "It's tough to beat the same team two starts in a row because they're going to make adjustments."

    Lowe gave up two runs, two walks and struck out five.

    The Red Sox already led 4-0 when Lowe allowed his first run in the fifth.

    He retired the first two batters on grounders then gave up a bloop single to left by Carlos Pena, who scored on Jeremy Giambi's lined single off the left-field wall.

    Erik Hiljus (3-3), who allowed 13 of his 22 runs in the first two innings of his other six starts, struggled early again and hurt himself with a throwing error.

    "It's frustrating for everyone," he said. "It was just a bonehead error I made at the beginning of the game that cost us."

    With one out in the first, he jumped to field Johnny Damon's bouncer but his underhanded throw to first baseman Pena was high and rolled into Boston's dugout.

    Nomar Garciaparra then popped out, but Daubach followed with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season. Then Hillenbrand hit a solo shot for his eighth.

    Hiljus started the second by walking Tony Clark, who took second on Rey Sanchez's one-out single.

    Henderson then hit a ground-rule double that scored Clark for a 4-0 lead. Henderson also hit an RBI double in a three-run eighth.

    Henderson broke a tie with Babe Ruth for 26th place all-time with his 506th double. Oakland's last run came in the eighth on Chavez's RBI single after Giambi walked and Randy Velarde singled.

    Game notes

    Damon stole his 11th base of the season in the fifth, then was thrown out when he also tried to steal third. ... Pena, who attended Northeastern in Boston, went 1-for-3 after entering the game in a 2-for-30 slump. ... Oakland cleanup hitter Jermaine Dye went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a double play. ... Henderson is 6-for-15 with five RBI in place of Ramirez.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press