Alfredo Aceves pitched two strong innings, followed by one disastrous one.
Aceves’ own mistakes and a few by his teammates piled up quickly as Oakland scored six runs in the third and went on to shut out the Red Sox 13-0 Tuesday night in a game shortened to seven innings because of rain.
”It’s not like only one thing. It’s couple things,” Aceves said.
Aceves (1-1) allowed eight runs – seven earned – on seven hits, four walks as well as a pair of balks before he was pulled with one out in the top of the fourth. He also made a throwing error after failing to cover first in time as the A’s capitalized on the Red Sox’s blunders as conditions continued to deteriorate in the steady, blowing rain.
”I thought Alfredo got off to a couple of good innings and then in the third inning things started to unravel,” Boston manager John Farrell said.
Bartolo Colon (3-0) fared much better for Oakland. He allowed just three hits and struck out seven while pitching all seven innings and had little trouble in the light-to-medium rain that fell throughout the game. He issued his first walk this season in 25 innings to Jacoby Ellsbury leading off the sixth. He allowed an infield single in the first by Dustin Pedroia and two-out singles in the fifth by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes.
”The weather conditions weren’t ideal, but to say that it was a major distraction, I don’t know that we can go that far. We see what Bartolo did against us,” Farrell said. ”Really we didn’t have many good swings at pitches that found their way to the middle of the plate.”
Aceves retired the first four batters then struggled before being relieved by Steven Wright with the score 8-0 with one out in the fourth. Wright was making his Major League debut following what was, by far, the worst performance by a Boston starter this season. In the other 19 games, starters allowed three or fewer runs 18 times and four runs once.
Oakland went ahead in the third when the first four batters reached base.
Eric Sogard walked, Coco Crisp singled and John Jaso and Seth Smith walked, scoring the first run of the game.
Brandon Moss hit a two-run single, a balk put runners at second and third and a sacrifice fly by Josh Donaldson made it 4-0. Josh Reddick then hit a hard grounder that first baseman Mike Napoli stopped, but Aceves was late covering the base and Reddick was safe. Moss kept running and scored. And when Aceves’ throw home went wild for an error, Reddick took second.
”It was my fault,” Aceves said.
Another balk sent Reddick to third and he scored on a throwing error by third baseman Will Middlebrooks on a grounder by Chris Young, making it 6-0.
The Athletics took an 8-0 lead in the fourth on Seth Smith’s second homer of the year then added four runs in the fifth off Wright on a two-run double by Crisp and a two-run single by Jaso.
Reddick’s RBI double in the sixth gave Oakland a 13-0 lead.
The A’s finished with 13 hits after managing a total of 11 in their previous three games.
NOTES: The stands were nearly empty when the game was called and the Red Sox announced that anyone with ticket stubs could use them to attend games Wednesday against Oakland or Thursday night against Houston. In the second home game of the year, the Red Sox’ sellout streak of 794 games in the regular season and 820 including the playoffs officially ended. … The Athletics started five former Red Sox players – CF Crisp, SS Lowrie, 1B Moss, RF Reddick and Colon. … RHP Wright made his major league debut. … In the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday night, Brett Anderson (1-3) pitches for Oakland against Jon Lester (3-0). … Ellsbury’s 12-game hitting streak ended.