OAKLAND, Calif. — Red Sox rookie Brandon Workman flirted with a no-hitter in his first major league start on Sunday afternoon. But the Red Sox left the O.co Coliseum with a disappointing loss.
Josh Donaldson drove in a run with a bloop single with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Athletics came back to beat the Sox, 3-2, before a crowd of 31,417.
Matt Thornton, acquired from the White Sox Friday, took the loss in his Red Sox debut. Oakland had only five hits in the game.
Pinch hitter Chris Young drew a walk to start the inning. Eric Sogard bunted him to second. With two outs, pinch hitter Derek Norris walked.
Donaldson, who earlier in the game hit a two-run homer, hit a soft single into right. The Sox had no time to make a play.
The Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the inning. But Ryan Cook (2-2) struck out Brock Holt looking. The Sox were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
The Red Sox go into the All-Star break at 58-39 after a 5-5 West Coast trip that ended with two losses. They are 2½ games up in the American League East.
The Yankees arrive at Fenway Park for the first time this season Friday night to start a three-game series.
Workman, 24, was brilliant for six innings. The 24-year-old had faced the minimum of 18 batters. He had walked one and struck out six.
Workman’s only major league experience before Sunday was two innings of relief at Seattle on Wednesday.
Coco Crisp led off the seventh by grounding a ball up the middle. Dustin Pedroia dove for the ball like a swimmer leaving the starting block. He came up throwing, but Crisp was too fast to get.
Workman got one out before Donaldson hit a titanic home run to center field, the ball hitting the wall behind and above the fence.
The shot came on Workman’s 107th pitch. His previous high this season was 100.
Craig Breslow closed out the inning from there.
Workman was bidding to become the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first major league start since Bobo Holloman of the St. Louis Browns in 1953. The last rookie to throw a no-hitter was Clay Buchholz in 2007.
Oakland starter Bartolo Colon, an All-Star, allowed two runs on eight hits over 6⅓ innings. He struck out four without a walk.
The Sox didn’t score until the sixth inning. Jacoby Ellsbury singled and went to third on a single by Daniel Nava. Pedroia then lined a two-strike changeup to left, scoring Ellsbury.
Mike Carp doubled off Colon in the seventh inning, advanced on a groundout, and scored on a single by the rookie Holt, who has eight RBIs in nine games since being called up.
Sean Doolittle held the Sox scoreless for 1⅔ innings. Grant Balfour, who was named a replacement on the All-Star team earlier in the day, then struck out the side in the ninth.
Breslow pitched 1⅔ scoreless for the Sox. Koji Uehara then retired the side in order in the ninth and escaped a jam in the 10th. Yoenis Cespedes reached second on a single and a throwing error by Jose Iglesias but was out stealing third.