Brett Anderson took the loss, giving up six runs on eight hits in another difficult outing for the 25-year-old lefty to bring his record to 1-4. Anderson’s ERA has risen to 7.23 after five starts with some discouraging issues regarding his ability to locate pitches as games progress, and two costly innings proved to be his undoing against the Red Sox.
The A’s struck first when Chris Young hit a three-run homer off of Boston starter Jon Lester over the Green Monster in the top of the fourth.
The Red Sox answered in the bottom half of the inning, with David Ortiz scoring from second off of a double from Mike Napoli to make it 3-1. After a walk to Jonny Gomes, Anderson gave up a single to Will Middlebrooks when he fielded a comebacker and went to second for the out, and Stephen Drew cleared the bases when he hit a triple to the corner in right field, tying the game 3-3 after four innings.
Anderson gave up two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, and he left the game with two men on base and no outs when he handed the ball over to Chris Resop. Resop promptly hit Napoli on the first pitch he threw to load the bases, and Daniel Nava, brought in as a pinch-hitter for Gomes, singled to right field to score Dustin Pedroia from third to make it 6-3. After Resop got Middlebrooks to fly out to left, Bob Melvin brought in Jerry Blevins, who masterfully escaped the inning by striking out Drew and getting David Ross to hit a pop fly to right to leave the bases loaded for the final two outs.
The A’s clawed their way back within one run on an RBI single from Josh Donaldson in the seventh and a solo home run from Chris Young in the eighth – his second shot of the game over the Monster in left field – but Andrew Bailey struck out all three Oakland batters in the ninth to give the Red Sox the 6-5 victory.
It appeared as if they’d have a chance when Jed Lowrie knocked a two-out double down the right field line, but it was called back as a foul ball – although replays would show it hit the chalk line – and Lowrie struck out to end the game.
The A’s head back to Oakland and will face the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels over the next seven games at home before embarking on a 10-game road trip against the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners. Jarrod Parker will go for his first win of the season Thursday night against Baltimore right-hander Jason Hammel.