BOSTON -- Adam Kennedy started the Athletics off the same way he decided their previous game: with a big hit.
Kennedy homered on the first pitch of Oakland's 8-6 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night. Less than 24 hours earlier, he capped a career-best five-hit game with an RBI single in the 11th that produced the go-ahead run in a 9-8 win.
Brett breaks Boston
A's starter Brett Anderson has used his breaking ball to strike out hitters. In at-bats ending with his slurve on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts -- the lone hit being Mike Lowell's homer. This season, 76.9 percent of Anderson's strikeouts are on breaking balls.
Brett Anderson strikeout breakdown
K's in 2009
"It looked like they didn't finish hitting since last night," said Mike Lowell, whose five RBIs were a rare bright spot in Boston's slumping lineup. "The first four pitches they had three hits. It was ridiculous. I guess we ran into them at the wrong time."One day after the Athletics pounded out 21 hits, they staked Brett Anderson (6-8) to a 5-0 lead before he even took the mound. He won at Fenway Park for the second time in 23 days, having beaten the Red Sox 6-0 with a two-hit complete game on July 6.Anderson had only one bad inning on Wednesday when he gave up Lowell's three-run homer in the first. He allowed just two singles in his other five innings."A big key to the game was holding them off after the first inning," Anderson said. "I was able to mix and match [pitches] early to get to two strikes to get to my slider."On Tuesday, the Athletics overcame a 6-2 deficit after six innings. They had seven runs and 11 hits in the last five innings and ended that game with a .298 batting average in July, the second best in the majors. Boston is batting .242 for the month after being outhit 10-9 Wednesday and fell 3 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees."It's been a grind because we haven't swung the bats well at the same time we've pitched well," Jason Varitek said. "If we don't put up quality starts day in and day out, it's tough for offenses to take over."Oakland started with five runs and four hits in the first inning against Brad Penny (7-5). He needed 37 pitches and 20 minutes to get out of the inning, striking out No. 9 hitter Eric Patterson.After just nine pitches in the bottom of the first, the Athletics had a 1-0 lead and the bases loaded."It's good to get the offense going a little bit and score some runs, especially in this place," said Kennedy, who has eight homers.Orlando Cabrera singled on Penny's second pitch. On the fourth pitch, Kurt Suzuki singled. Then Jack Cust walked on five pitches.Ryan Sweeney made the first out on a forceout at second on which Cabrera scored. A walk to Tommy Everidge reloaded the bases and Rajai Davis cleared them with a two-out double.It was a rare case of wildness for Penny, who had walked just three batters in his previous five starts covering 28 1/3 innings."The walks killed me," he said, but "what are the chances of the guy hitting the first pitch out of the park?"The Red Sox scored single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth and cut the lead to 8-6 on Lowell's RBI single off Andrew Bailey, who then retired J.D. Drew on a groundout for his 13th save in 17 opportunities.Boston had gotten back in the game in the first after Anderson hopped when he landed awkwardly on his fourth pitch. He took a few warmups, then walked Jacoby Ellsbury on the next pitch.Kevin Youkilis also walked and Jason Bay struck out before Lowell homered over the left-field wall for his 11th homer, making it 5-3."After the home run, the job (Anderson) did was impressive," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "That's a lot for a young kid. It can go any way there. You can get refocused or fall apart."Anderson refocused and finished with eight strikeouts while allowing four hits and four walks.Penny also settled down with three hitless innings. But Suzuki led off the fifth with his sixth homer, also on the first pitch. Patterson doubled in the Athletics' last two runs against Justin Masterson in the sixth.Boston made it 8-4 in the seventh when Ellsbury tripled and scored on Dustin Pedroia's groundout and 8-5 when Lowell hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Youkilis struck out four times and Bay fanned three times. ... Suzuki has hit in all 21 of his games against Boston, an Oakland club record. He broke a tie with Ben Grieve and Mitchell Page.