A’s Get Walk-Off Win on Frustrating Night for Red Sox’ Offense

A's Get Walk-Off Win on Frustrating Night for Red Sox' Offense

Final, Athletics 5-4: Someone, at some time, had to get a big hit. After the Sox failed time and time again to do so, the A's do here in the 10th. Kevin Kouzmanoff singled off Michael Bowden with two outs in the 10th to drive in Daric Barton with the game-winner.

The top three teams in the AL East all lost Tuesday. Wasted opportunities all around for the Red Sox.

1:33 a.m.: Moments after losing his pitching coach Dustin Richardson wins a long battle with a big strikeout of Adam Rosales for the second out of the 10th. Michael Bowden is next out of the bullpen.

1:31 a.m.: It's amazing how such a tidy, well-pitched, well-defended game can become so unraveled. Sox pitching coach John Farrell has become the second individual (Coco Crisp was the first) ejected in the inning, arguing a check-swing call on Adam Rosales.

1:25 a.m.: Dustin Richardson has not seen much action in key situations, but he's in the middle of a mess here. Richardson comes on with runners at first and second and one out in the bottom of the 10th.

1:23 a.m.: We had yet to see an ejection or a balk, so the teams made sure to provide both in the bottom of the 10th. Coco Crips got the heave-ho and Ramon Ramirez balked a runner to second with one out.

Mid 10th, 4-4: There have been about a half-dozen fantastic defensive plays in this game, the latest a beautiful double play turned by the A's in the 10th. Considering that Dusty Brown followed with a single to right, the twin killing proved to be a big one.

Curious first-pitch swing by Bill Hall on the DP as Eric Patterson had just come on as a pinch runner and you figured he would get a chance to steal a base. Isn't that really his main role on this team right now?

Ramon Ramirez is still out there but Jonathan Papelbon has been warming. Michael Bowden and Dustin Richardson are up now.

End 9th, 4-4: This will be Boston's 11th extra-inning game of the year, tied with Texas for the most in the AL. The Sox are 3-7 in extra innings but won their last one with the rally against the Rangers at Fenway Park on Saturday night.

Ramon Ramirez worked around a walk and a stolen base in the ninth to keep his team in it.

Mid 9th, 4-4: Andrew Bailey makes quick work of the meat of the Red Sox order and we head to the last of the ninth wondering if and when one of these teams will score again.

Oakland's bullpen has thrown 6 2/3 scoreless innings in this series.

End 8th, 4-4: For the second straight night Daniel Bard has some problems throwing strikes. Eight of the first nine pitches he threw were balls, giving Kevin Kouzmanoff a 3-1 hack with two men on.

Kouzmanoff smacked one down the line in right that went foul by about two feet. Then he struck on what would've been ball four to bail out Bard.

The Sox have their 4-6 hitters due up. Oakland has brought in closer Andrew Bailey.

12:44 p.m.: Hideki Okajima strikes out the first man he faces but the second, Kurt Suzuki, lines a single to center, snapping a string of 16 straight set down by Boston pitching. Daniel Bard is coming out of the pen with two outs in the eighth.

12:36 p.m.: Hideki Okajima is on with one out in the eighth to face Daric Barton.

Mid 8th, 4-4: The Sox get their 11th hit and leave their 11th man on base when David Ortiz follows up Darnell McDonald's single with a strikeout to end the top of the eighth.

Ortiz is now 3-for-22 with nine strikeouts since the All-Star break. We know what you're thinking…Home Run derby and all that.

Manny Delcarmen remains out there to start the bottom of the eighth. Dusty Brown is the new Red Sox catcher.

End 7th, 4-4: Manny Delcarmen picks up where Tim Wakefield left off. The last 14 A's hitters have been retired in order and Oakland remains stuck on three hits.

Mid 7th, 4-4: Back and forth we go. A game that once looked as if it would last deep into Wednesday morning on the East Coast is now seeing the two teams trade zeroes.

The A's have amassed five hits in 12 2/3 innings against Boston's starters in this series.

End 6th, 4-4: It's as if Tim Wakefield is sensing his time as a starter coming to an end (again) and is doing everything he can to make Terry Francona reconsider.

Wakefield has retired 11 in a row, striking out four in that span. Manny Delcarmen was warming in the bullpen so that should be it, but you have to appreciate Wakefield's effort, which looks a lot worse on the stat line than it is.

Mid 6th, 4-4: How often do you leave the bases loaded without scoring in two straight innings and live to tell about it? The Sox will find out in this one, having blown another huge scoring chance.

Boston never had a hit in the sixth, but a hit batter, walk and intentional walk put Kevin Youkilis up with one out and three ducks on the pond. Michael Wuertz came on to fan Youkilis and get Adrian Beltre on a grounder to short.

The Sox have left 10 on base already, including six in scoring position. That stings.

This might be the last inning for Tim Wakefield. He has thrown 98 pitches.

11:55 p.m.: Kevin Youkilis will be coming to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. The A's have gone to the bullpen again.

End 5th, 4-4: Since Jack Cust's two-run double in the third, Tim Wakefield has retired eight in a row. He may end this one regretting a five-minute sequence a few innings ago, but otherwise he's been very good.

There are reports out there that the Phillies may be after Roy Oswalt in a deal that would see a companion trade involving Jayson Werth. It doesn't say anything about the Red Sox being that third team in, but just thought I would mention it since Werth has been rumored as a cure for Boston's outfield woes.

Mid 5th, 4-4: Bases loaded and two outs and Bill Hall chops one to second, letting a great opportunity go by the board. Dallas Braden will not get the loss but he is now winless in nine starts since his Mother's Day perfecto.

11:32 p.m.: Adrian Beltre had been scuffling just a bit entering the series but now has five hits in eight at-bats against Oakland. His single with two outs in the fifth, which predeced J.D. Drew getting hit by a pitch, helps end the night for Dallas Braden.

End 4th, 4-4: A much better result for Tim Wakefield in the fourth as he sets them down in order. The Sox have outhit the A's 9-3 and Oakland is the only team to commit an error, yet still we are tied.

Mid 4th, 4-4: You can question the decision to hit-and-run with Kevin Cash at the plate, given his extremely weak bat. It hurts the Sox when Cash swings and misses and Bill Hall is caught in a rundown for the first out.

Then again, Cash singled a few pitches later so who the heck knows. Just credit Dallas Braden for throwing Cash a good changeup he couldn't handle on the hit-and-run.

Cash has done a very good job handling the staff but it will be a welcome sight when Victor Martinez is behind the dish. Martinez continues to play catch with a protective shield over his left thumb and is hitting from both sides of the plate. He wasn't doing any of that a week ago, so things are moving in the right direction.

End 3rd, 4-4: What a disaster that was. Two doubles, a walk, a hit batter, a stolen base, a sacrifice fly and a passed ball that allows a man to come in from third. It all adds up to four runs for the A's.

Tim Wakefield was in danger when he had to face Jack Cust with the bases loaded and one out. Cust entered the at-bat a .435 career hitter against Wakefield, and improved on that mark with a two-run double.

The passed ball off the mitt of Kevin Cash allowed Kurt Suzuki to score on a play at the plate that saw Wakefield limp away from. Cash scored on Kevin Kouzmanoff's sac fly to center.

A little bit of everything gives us a tie game and runs Wakefield's pitch count all the way up to 65.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-0: The Sox get their eighth hit in three innings but are finally kept off the scoreboard. Should this score hold up, Boston will be feeling much better about itself in the American League East.

The Yankees have already lost at home to the Angels and the Rays are currently in extra innings in Baltimore.

End 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: Tim Wakefield picks up his first strikeout to finish a perfect second inning. The knuckleball looks pretty good early.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: Kurt Suzuki, Dallas Braden and Daric Barton will all be featured on blooper reels going forward after an awkward play that helped the Sox score three times in the second.

Bill Hall followed a one-out double by Mike Cameron with a single to right. When the throw sailed over the cutoff man and headed to home, Hall rounded first and started to take off for second, but Cameron was held and Suzuki had Hall caught in between first and second.

When Suzuki threw to Barton at first Braden was in the way and the throw was off, Suzuki likely baffled as to who he would throw to.

Cameron came home easily as the ball went into right field with both Barton and Braden lying on the ground near first.

Boston adds two more on back-to-back RBI doubles by Marco Scutaro and Darnell McDonald, who missed a home run by a few feet. The Sox have four doubles and three singles in two innings against Braden.

End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: With two on and one out, Tim Wakefield was in a bit of early trouble. A long fly to center is tracked down by Mike Cameron and a chopper to third handled by Adrian Beltre as Wakefield gets out of the mess.

Wakefield's trip back to the bullpen appears imminent. Josh Beckett got through a 25-minute bullpen session Tuesday and will most certainly be activated to start Friday in Seattle.

Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: One run came in but it could've been a bigger inning for the Sox. David Ortiz is thrown out at home trying to score all the way from first on a Kevin Youkilis double.

One could question Tim Bogar's decision to send Ortiz. Had he not you would have two runners in scoring position with one out and Adrian Beltre up. Instead there were two outs, a runner on second and Beltre soon struck out to end it.

But I kind of like the call. Why not try to put a little more pressure on Dallas Braden early? Instead, he may have a little bit of a confidence boost.

9:56 p.m.: We talked a bit about Tim Wakefield's history in Oakland. Dallas Braden's has been much more limited, but pretty impressive.

Braden is 9-8 with a 3.45 ERA in his last two years at home, spanning 21 starts. In 2010, his home ERA is 3.15 and he had the perfect game here in May.

Since then, Braden is 0-5 with a 4.31 ERA in eight starts. The A's have scored a grand total of 13 runs in those eight outings, so he has had plenty of misfortune.

Braden has pitched well enough to win in some of those starts. You get the sense that he's due, and his track record at home certainly doesn't hurt his chances to get in the win column.

8:56 p.m.: Tim Wakefield has thoroughly enjoyed some of his trips to the Oakland Coliseum, while others have resulted in misery. In his last outing here April 15, 2009, Wakefield took a no-hitter one out into the eighth and finished with one of his 32 career complete games.

In his previous outing in Oakland in 2008, the 43-year-old gave up a season-high eight runs in just five innings.

To reinforce his all-or-nothing history on the road against the A's, consider this: Wakefield's 5.61 ERA in the Oakland Coliseum is higher than all current AL ballparks except one, yet it is one of just five of the 38 parks in which he has pitched where has more than one complete game.

7:05 p.m.: We are getting reports out of Oakland that Jed Lowrie is slated to join the team during this series. Not sure what the corresponding move would be, but we can always speculate.

Eric Patterson could be the casualty. If and when Lowrie arrives Bill Hall can be slotted as that fifth outfielder (Patterson's current role) and share second base duties with Lowrie, and when Jeremy Hermida is activated on Thursday, Hall will remain in his uber-utility role and perhaps someone like Daniel Nava will go.

Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett will also be activated during the week so similar shakeups will occur on the pitching staff. Scott Atchison, Dustin Richardson and Ramon Ramirez are all candidates for a new assignment. The club wants to see if Michael Bowden can take his new reliever role and run with it.

Again, this is speculation. There have been surprises a few times this season when other moves seemed obvious.

Here are the lineups for the Red Sox-Athletics contest Tuesday night:

Red Sox

Marco Scutaro, SS
Darnell McDonald, LF
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Cameron, CF
Bill Hall, 2B
Kevin Cash, C
 
A's
 
Coco Crisp, CF
Daric Barton, 1B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Jack Cust, DH
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
Mark Ellis, 2B
Gabe Gross, RF
Rajai Davis, LF
Cliff Pennington, SS

7:25 a.m.:Tim Wakefield has made 403 starts as a member of the Boston Red Sox. The 404th may be his last for some time.

With two frontline starters slated to return this week in Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett, Wakefield is likely looking at a return to the Boston bullpen. Before that happens, he will try to pitch the Sox past the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Boston won the opener of its 10-game road trip Monday behind Daisuke Matsuzaka. The righty allowed just a run in 6 2/3 innings as the Sox topped the A's 2-1, picking up a half-game on the idle New York Yankees in the American League East.

Dallas Braden returns from the disabled list to pitch for the A's.

First pitch is 10:07 p.m.

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