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

Oakland starter.

“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

against Boston.

“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

beat.”

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

pitch.

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.