Oakland loses 12th of last 14 games

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Edgar Renteria is returning to his old reliable self.

Renteria hit a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning and David Ortiz doubled and drove in two runs, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 7-5 victory over the mistake-prone Oakland Athletics on
Tuesday night.

Renteria, in his first season with the Red Sox, is batting .292 on this road trip and showing why the World Series champions added him in the offseason.

"That's the kind of player he's going to be for us for a long time," manager Terry Francona said of the four-time All-Star. "He didn't panic."

The A's committed two costly errors in the eighth to blow it.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs against Juan Cruz
(0-2) before Ricardo Rincon relieved. He struck out Mark Bellhorn,
but Johnny Damon reached on a fielding error by first baseman Scott Hatteberg, whose six errors at his position lead the majors.

Renteria followed with his single to right, and a charging Eric Byrnes allowed the ball to get by him for an error that led to another run.

A's manager Ken Macha emerged from a long closed-door meeting with general manager Billy Beane after the game and said his pitching plan changed when closer Octavio Dotel showed up at the ballpark complaining of elbow trouble. He will be evaluated Wednesday.

The A's are considering pushing back Joe Blanton's start Friday so he can be available in relief for the ailing bullpen.

"Kenny doesn't have any options," Beane said. "I wish I had some answers."

Alan Embree (1-1) retired all five batters he faced for the victory, while Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances. Boston had only four hits but drew 11 walks.

Byrnes hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth, but shoddy defense was largely to blame in Oakland's 12th loss in 14 games. Eric Chavez homered and drove in two runs for the A's.

"I was trying to get myself in position to make a throw and it cost us," Byrnes said of his misplay. "I flat-out missed it. I don't think a lot of things have gone well the past two weeks. We have a good defensive team. We're just not making the plays."

Barry Zito issued a career-high seven walks and was done after five innings and 115 pitches. He has allowed 18 runs in his last four starts covering 21 1/3 innings against Boston.

The Red Sox bailed out starter Matt Clement, who hasn't lost in nine straight starts and will have another opportunity Sunday to begin a season 5-0 for the first time in his career.

The right-hander loaded the bases with one out in the fifth on a single by Byrnes followed by consecutive walks to Mark Kotsay and Jason Kendall. Chavez, who had homered the previous inning, grounded out to score a run. Hatteberg's RBI single moments later tied the game at 3, but Kendall was thrown out at the plate trying for the go-ahead run.

Last week, Clement pitched seven strong innings against the A's but didn't receive a decision because Foulke blew a three-run lead. This time, Clement allowed five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"We did what we had to do to win. It wasn't pretty," Clement said. "I didn't want to leave the game, but I was frustrated with myself. You always make your own bed."

Chavez led off the fourth with his third homer of the year and first since April 18 at Texas -- a stretch of 25 games and 103 at-bats. Chavez had three hits Monday night for the first time this season and is showing signs that he's working out of season-long
offensive funk.

The A's won the opener 6-4 on Monday to end an eight-game losing streak and beat Boston for the first time in 10 meetings.

Zito, behind in the count much of the night, had already matched his previous career high of six walks through four innings.

The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first despite getting just one hit -- Renteria's double off the scoreboard in left field.

Ortiz, who hit his AL-leading 15th double and has 10 RBI in his last 12 games, had an RBI groundout and Kevin Millar added a sacrifice fly two batters later.

Game notes
Bellhorn drew three of Boston's walks. The Red Sox have a major league-leading 175. ... Boston optioned right-hander Cla Meredith to
Triple-A Pawtucket after the game in order to activate left-hander David Wells from the disabled list to start Wednesday's game. Wells, sidelined since April 26 with a sprained right foot, would replace right-hander Jeremi Gonzalez, who was still listed as Boston's probable starter for Wednesday. The Red Sox wouldn't announce Wells as the starter, apparently as a precaution in case he has a setback in the morning. But his schedule has been set up for the slot, and he was listed as the starter -- with a question mark -- on a calendar in manager Terry Francona's office at Fenway Park.... Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon got the night off so he will be fresh for Wednesday's day game.