Extra Bases

Final: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

Game Over: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 21st save by retiring the A’s in the 9th, ending the A’s five-game winning streak before 19,341 at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Big win for the Sox with Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3) holding the A’s to two hits over 6-2/3 innings and Daniel Bard and Papelbon finishing it off and protecting a one-run lead the Sox claimed with two runs in the fourth inning – sac fly by David Ortiz scoring Eric Patterson, who tripled followed by Adrian Beltre’s 15th homer. The game was played in 2:40.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

Coco Crisp is 0-for-4 as a leadoff man tonight for Oakland and is now on an 0-for-17 run and 6 for his last 49 over the last 13 games. Ughhh! Daniel Bard struck him out on a curveball. The A’s got a runner to second when No. 9 hitter Cliff Pennington singled to left and stole second base, Bard walked Daric Barton. Bard went 3-0 to Kurt Suzuki, before coming back with a strike. Suzuki grounded out to second base on a 3-1 pitch to end the inning. Jonathan Papelbon was warming up during the inning and is expected to pitch the 9th.

Top 8th: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

At a such a crucial stage of the season and at the start of this 10-game road trip out West, Sox GM Theo Epstein is with the team. Epstein is certainly monitoring the trade market and has defined his needs as catching, relief pitching and outfield. The Sox have had ongoing talks with Colorado on Chris Iannetta and are monitoring a deal for a possible reliever and an outfielder. The Sox are slightly over the luxury tax threshold and probably will not do anything major, but could fill a few short terms needs. Adrian Beltre singled with two outs in the 8th against Michael Wuertz, his third hit. But JD Drew grounded out to end the inning. Starter Ben Sheets went 6-2/3 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. He threw 109 pitches.

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Bottom 7th: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

Daisuke Matsuzaka has left the game after 6-2/3 innings, allowing two hits and leaves with a 2-1 lead and runners at second and third with two outs. With Dice-K it’s always tricky for manager Terry Francona as to when to take him out. Mark Ellis doubled and that seemed to signal it was time. Daniel Bard is on. UPDATE: Bard gets Gabe Gross to pop up to third to preserve the one-run lead. Dice-K: 6-2/3 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts. He threw 89 pitches, 62 for strikes. Another good outing.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

NEWSFLASH – “Moneyball” the movie will begin shooting here next week. Brad Pitt, who plays A’s GM Bill Beane, has been around the ballpark (though not tonight). The A’s seem to be making more news off the field. They’re still trying to get a new stadium, but lots of political redtape involved in trying to get something built in San Jose, where political leaders embrace the idea and have a downtown site ready to go.

Top 7th: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

Let’s see if the Sox leaving the bases loaded comes back to haunt them. Nava and Cash singled and Scutaro walked with two outs. When lefty Jerry Blevins came on, Terry Francona pulled Eric Patterson back for pinch-hitter Bill Hall, who grounded out to end the inning. Dice-K is out there for the bottom of the 7th, breezing through the A’s lineup through six. Still allowed one hit – the second inning homer by Davis.

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Bottom 4th: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

NEWSFLASH – The PawSox lost to Toledo tonight, 4-1. Mark Holliman got his first Triple-A start. He’s the 26-year-old that Sox pro scouting director Allard Baird found in the Northern League playing for Winnipeg. He started at Salem (A ball) and allowed just two runs over 14-1/3 innings over three games and two starts. Tonight for the PawSox he allowed two runs on four hits, struck out 10 in six innings. Meanwhile, another strong inning for Dice-K, who walked his first batter, but no damage. He holds on to the 1-run lead.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 2, A’s 1

NEWS FLASH: The Red Sox would have considered bringing Nick Green back, but because Jed Lowrie is making such good progress at Pawtucket, the team feels it has infield backup. Green has been designated for assignment by the Blue Jays.

Top 4th: Red Sox 2, Oakland 1

Eric Patterson stroked a triple to the rightcenter gap and really turned on the after-burners. You can tell he had knowledge of this ballpark and his ex-teammates in the outfield because he just kept racing around second and never looked back. The Red Sox have really come to like Patterson’s skills and it appears he stays around when all the injured come back. Ortiz’ sacrifice fly brought Patterson in with the tying run. Adrian Beltre smoked his 15th homer on the first pitch from Sheets, a long shot to leftcenter above the 388-foot sign.

Bottom 3rd: A’s 1, Red Sox 0

Dice-K has good stuff tonight but he hung a pitch to Rajai Davis, who lined it to left field for a home run. Dice-K has four strikeouts through three innings.

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Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, A’s 0

Effective first inning by Dice-K 1-2-3. Has he turned the corner on bad, long first innings? The only was this team is going to turn the corner and contend for the wild card is if they’re pitching well 1-5. Lester, Beckett, Lackey, Buchholz and Dice-K need to be every bit as effective as the Sox outlined this winter.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, A’s 0

Beautiful cool summer night here in Oakland. Marco Scutaro led off with a single and advanced to second on Eric Patterson’s ground ball out. After David Ortiz grounded out into the shift, Kevin Youkilis grounded out to third to end the inning. So starts this very important 10-game West Coast road trip where the Sox need to really do well and make up ground. Not easy as the Yankees and Rays have much easier schedules. The hope is with Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett both returning this week, they’ll begin to have well-pitched games. Buckle in. Here comes Dice-K.

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