The Red Sox came to town last night and lost ugly: they argued calls, ran into outs, wasted a great effort by Lackey (6-4-1-1-3, 93), and managed only four hits vs Oakland's Brett Anderson who was on his game (8-4-0-1-8, 109). The Red Sox had not won a road game all year, and I did not expect to go see them, but for an e-mail form donna. Somehow she scored free tickets by posing for a picture with Stomper, the As elephant mascot.
So I took a day off and invited my neighbor David (an As fan) to join me. We got a matchup of two young guns: Gio Gonzalez and Clay Buchholz. Gio made quick work of the Sox int he top of the first (striking out JD Drew and Adrian Gonzalez). Buchholz's first pitch to Coco Crisp went over the wall at the 367 mark in right. It looked like it would be a long day.
But the 4-5-6-7 batters for the Sox put together a couple of great innings. Youk (4), Scutaro (6), and Crawford (7) all singled in the second, and the game was tied. Then Youk hit a solo shot over the left field wall in the fourth, and the Sox were up 2-1. In the sixth, after A-Gon singled, Youk struck out, and the skies opened up. Jed Lowrie (5) hit a long home run into the rain. He now leads the Sox with 11 RBIs; he's been amazing.
In the bottom of the sixth, Buchholz started to run out of steam. Ryan Sweeney doubled, then Landon Powell and Conor Jackson both walked. Bases loaded with one out. Bard came in and shut the door: he struck out Pennington, and got Coco to pop out to short.
In the seventh, JD Drew added a homer of his own, just over the glove of DeJesus in right. Bobby Jenks came in to pitch for the Sox in the eighth, and did not look sharp. He gave up a run on a walk and three singles before Papelbon closed the frame by striking out DeJesus.
The As added another in the ninth off Bot, but that was it. The As left 15 on base. A frustrating day for my friend David, but also an anxious day for me as I had to endure all those base-runners. Plus, Ellsbury struck out. Three times. All looking. How does that happen? Anyway, the Red Sox got their first road win and split the two-game set.