Red Sox 5, Athletics 3
Gio Gonzalez’s run as the major league’s stingiest pitcher came
to an end against the worst road team in the bigs.
Then the Boston Red Sox punched two more holes in the Oakland
left-hander’s razor-thin ERA for good measure.
Gonzalez had nine strikeouts but gave up home runs to Kevin
Youkilis and Jed Lowrie, and the Red Sox got their first road win
of the season after seven straight losses, beating the Athletics
5-3 on Wednesday.
Gonzalez (2-1) came into the game having thrown 17 straight
scoreless innings and having allowed only one run in three starts
for an 0.47 ERA. But he allowed an RBI single to Carl Crawford in
the second, a solo homer to Youkilis in the fourth and the two-run
shot by Lowrie in the sixth in a rare off performance for an
“Their offense came alive a little bit,” said Gonzalez, who
allowed eight hits – four fewer than he gave up in his previous
three starts combined. “I was doing my best to keep them down but
they kept going up there and swinging. That’s a tough team to keep
down. If you make a mistake they’re going to make you pay for it
and that’s exactly what they did.”
In the previous turn through the rotation, A’s starters gave up
just one earned run in 33 2-3 innings for an 0.27 ERA. Gonzalez did
his part during the stretch with six shutout innings against
Detroit on April 14.
Gonzalez had good stuff against Boston in a game played in a
steady rain but was done in by the homers from Youkilis and Lowrie
as the A’s lost for just the sixth time in their past 24 home games
“That’s some pretty good stuff,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona
said of Gonzalez. “He’s nice and free and easy, big breaking ball
and enough velocity on the fastball. That’s a tough guy to
Clay Buchholz (1-2) allowed a leadoff home run to Coco Crisp and
nothing else in 5 1-3 innings as the Red Sox snapped the longest
season-opening road losing streak in franchise history.
Despite building a 5-1 lead, there were some tense moments late
for the Red Sox. Crisp’s one-out RBI single off Bobby Jenks in the
eighth inning cut Boston’s lead to three runs, but Jenks recovered
by striking out Daric Barton. Jonathan Papelbon escaped the jam by
striking out David DeJesus.
The A’s added another run in the ninth on Landon Powell’s RBI
single before Papelbon got pinch-hitter Josh Willingham and Cliff
Pennington to end the game for his third save.
“We didn’t take advantage of some situations when we had them,”
Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “We had some of our better hits up
in certain situations and didn’t necessarily come through. We had
our chances, we did.”
J.D. Drew added his first homer of the season, a solo shot, in
the seventh off Jerry Blevins to help the Red Sox win for the
fourth time in five games after a 2-10 start.
Buchholz allowed 10 runs in five innings on the way to a pair of
losses in Oakland last season and got off to a rough start in this
game as well when Crisp homered to right field on Buchholz’s first
But Buchholz stranded a pair of runners in both the second and
fifth innings and pitched around Mark Ellis’ one-out double in the
fourth before being relieved by Daniel Bard with the bases loaded
and one out in the sixth inning.
“(Buchholz) wasn’t that on today but he pitched smart,” said
Barton, who went 0-for-4. “He got the big out when he needed it and
kept us from having any big innings. We missed a lot of
opportunities today with guys in scoring position.”
Bard struck out Pennington and then escaped the jam by retiring
Crisp on a popup. Crisp’s out came one pitch after his line drive
to left field landed just inches foul.
Buchholz allowed one run and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Notes: Ellis’ double in the fourth was the 200th of his career.
Ellis also made Oakland’s major league-worst 20th error in the top
of that inning when he dropped a ball on a potential force at
second. … Lowrie was 2 for 4 and is batting .480 this season
against lefties. … Crisp’s homer was just the eighth of the
season for the A’s. … LHP David Purcey, acquired from Toronto
earlier in the week, made his Oakland debut with two perfect
innings. … This marked the 99th anniversary of the first game
played at Fenway Park, a 7-6 Boston win in 11 innings over the
Yankees in 1912.