Red Sox-Athletics Live: Josh Donaldson’s Bloop Single in 11th Inning Gives A’s 3-2 Win in Series Finale

Jacoby EllsburyFinal, Athletics 3-2: Josh Donaldson tied the game with a two-run homer in the seventh inning. He won the game with a bloop single in the 11th inning.

Donaldson, batting with runners on first and second with two outs, dropped a base hit in front of Daniel Nava to give Oakland a 3-2 win in the series finale.

Matt Thornton suffered the loss in his Red Sox debut. He issued two walks in the 11th inning, including a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Chris Young. Young moved up to second base on Eric Sogard’s sacrifice bunt, and he scored on Donaldson’s flair.

Brandon Workman, who made his first major league start, was terrific. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Coco Crisp led off the frame with an infield single. Donaldson tied the game with a two-run big fly to center field.

Workman surrendered two runs on two hits over 6 1/3 innings of work before exiting. He struck out five, walked one and threw 103 pitches (62 strikes).

The Red Sox will head into the All-Star break with an AL-best 58-39 record despite dropping two straight. So while Sunday’s loss certainly stings, especially with how well Workman pitched, it’s hard to be too upset if you’re a Boston fan.

Mid 11th, 2-2: The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the 11th inning.

The Sox didn’t produce a hit, but Ryan Cook struggled with his control. Cook walked David Ortiz and Mike Carp, and then plunked Ryan Lavarnway to load the bases.

Brock Holt, who has had some big hits since being called up, couldn’t deliver in the clutch. He struck out looking on a breaking ball on the outside corner to end the inning.

Matt Thornton is coming in to pitch for Boston. He’ll be making his Red Sox debut after being acquired in a trade with the White Sox on Friday.

It’s also worth noting that David Ortiz was lifted for a pinch runner in the 11th inning, so the Red Sox no longer have the benefit of his bat in the lineup.

End 10th, 2-2: The A’s hurt themselves in the 10th inning.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a ground ball up the middle, and Jose Iglesias made a diving stop. Iglesias then sprung up and delivered an errant throw to first base. The ball seemed to rattle around near the dugout, but it was unclear whether or not it actually went into the dugout at one point. The umpires ruled that it did, and thus Cespedes was awarded second base, much to the chagrin of John Farrell.

Koji Uehara struck out Josh Reddick on a pitch down and out of the zone for the first out, and the A’s then handed the Red Sox a gift.

Cespedes attempted to steal third base with Nate Freiman batting, and Ryan Lavarnway gunned him down. Cespedes got an awful jump at second base, and he was out by a mile. Why the A’s would attempt a steal there with the potential winning run already in scoring position is beyond me.

Nate Freiman grounded out to end the inning.

Mid 10th, 2-2: Jacoby Ellsbury reached with two outs in the 10th inning, but Ryan Cook kept Boston scoreless.

Brock Holt grounded out and Jose Iglesias popped out, and Cook had himself two outs on four pitches.

Ellsbury then hit a ground ball into the hole that Jed Lowrie fielded on the back hand. Lowrie needed to hurry with Ellsbury speeding down the line, and his throw was off the mark.

Lowrie’s throw actually got away from first baseman Nate Freiman, but Ellsbury didn’t realize it. Rather than go for second base, Ellsbury kept running up the first base line.

Koji Uehara, who worked a perfect ninth inning, will come back out for the 10th.

End 9th, 2-2: The Red Sox and A’s aren’t ready to enter the All-Star break just yet. We’ll have bonus baseball in Oakland.

Koji Uehara breezed through the ninth inning to send this game to extras.

Uehara struck out John Jaso, and then got Josh Donaldson to ground to third base for the second out.

Uehara made a very nice defensive play to cap off the ninth inning. Jed Lowrie hit a little bouncer to the left side of the mound. Uehara sprung off the hill and fielded it barehanded before throwing to first base to complete the out.

Mid 9th, 2-2: Grant Balfour showed why he’s an All-Star.

Balfour struck out the side in the ninth inning, and the A’s will now come up with a chance to win it.

Jonny Gomes’ strikeout and subsequent ejection kicked off the inning. Mike Carp and Ryan Lavarnway then went down by way of the K. Carp went down looking at a pitch on the outside corner, and Lavarnway went down swinging.

Koji Uehara will take over for Boston in the ninth inning. He’s scheduled to face John Jaso, Josh Donaldson and Jed Lowrie.

Carp will head out to left field with Gomes being ejected. Mike Napoli will enter the game and play first base.

6:52 p.m., 2-2: Jonny Gomes has been ejected.

Gomes attempted to call time with two strikes, but home plate umpire Todd Tichenor didn’t award it to him. Gomes needed to readjust quickly, and he struck out swinging.

Gomes immediately gave Tichenor an ear full, and the ump wasted no time in tossing the Red Sox outfielder.

End 8th, 2-2: Nothing’s been settled through eight innings. We’re deadlocked at two apiece.

Nate Freiman, a native of Wellesley, Mass., pinch hit for Brandon Moss to lead off the eighth inning. He hit a bloop single down the right field line.

Mike Carp, Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava all chased after Freiman’s blooper, but it landed in the middle of the trio a few feet away from the foul line. Freiman took a wide turn around first base before eventually tossing on the brakes.

Seth Smith hit a sharp liner to left field after Freiman’s leadoff single, and Jonny Gomes made a nice diving grab for the first out. It wasn’t as if Gomes was completely outstretched, but he needed to dive with the liner falling fast.

Eric Sogard then dropped down a bunt. He bunted it way too hard, though, and it was right at Pedroia, who tossed to second base to get the lead runner.

Coco Crisp hit a hard line drive with two outs, but it was right at Jose Iglesias at short.

Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp and Ryan Lavarnway are due up for Boston in the ninth inning. A’s closer Grant Balfour, who was named an All-Star on Sunday, will be the new pitcher.

Mid 8th, 2-2: David Ortiz appeared to have one thing in mind as he took a couple of huge cuts in the eighth inning. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, he ended up grounding into an inning-ending double play.

Dustin Pedroia, who has two hits, worked a five-pitch walk with one out. Ortiz then looked to drive in two runs with one swing, but he grounded a 1-1 pitch to second base, where Eric Sogard started up a 4-6-3 twin killing.

Craig Breslow, who recorded the last two outs of the seventh inning, will come back out to pitch the eighth inning for Boston.

End 7th, 2-2: Craig Breslow worked around a four-pitch walk to Yoenis Cespedes to record the final two outs of the seventh inning.

Brandon Workman, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh, won’t factor in the decision after surrendering a game-tying homer to Josh Donaldson. There was a lot to like about the rookie’s performance, though.

Workman held the A’s hitless for six innings before things unraveled in the seventh. He exited having surrendered two runs on two hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. The right-hander struck out five and walked one while throwing 103 pitches (62 strikes).

It’s hard to ask for much more out of a guy making his first major league start.

6:20 p.m., 2-2: Things have changed drastically.

Brandon Workman carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but Coco Crisp led off with an infield single.

Two batters later, Josh Donaldson hammered a game-tying home run to center field. It was Donaldson’s 16th homer of the season.

John Farrell is now making a pitching change. Craig Breslow is coming in for Workman.

6:11 p.m., Red Sox 2-0: Brandon Workman held the A’s hitless for six innings, but Coco Crisp led off the bottom of the seventh inning with an infield single.

Crisp hit a ground ball up the middle. Dustin Pedroia made a sensational diving play and fired to first in an effort to keep Workman’s no-hitter intact. Crisp was just too fast, though.

Now, it’s time to see how Workman responds.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-0: Lefty Sean Doolittle was the first pitcher out of the Oakland bullpen, and he minimized the damage.

Jose Iglesias flied out to right field, and Jacoby Ellsbury popped out in foul territory along the third base line after Brock Holt stole second base.

Ellsbury’s popup nearly dropped harmlessly in foul ground, but Josh Donaldson made a great, over-the-shoulder grab while sliding to end the inning.

Brandon Workman now heads back to the mound. The A’s are still looking for their first hit.

6:02 p.m., Red Sox 2-0: Bartolo Colon’s day is done with one out in the seventh inning.

Mike Carp led off the inning with a double into the gap in left-center. Coco Crisp tried to cut it off, but the ball rolled past him and to the wall.

Carp advanced to third base when Ryan Lavarnway grounded out, and he scored when Brock Holt drove an RBI single into left field.

End 6th, Red Sox 1-0: Is it time to start talking about it? (Or should I say, “time to start thinking about not talking about it?”)

Brandon Workman breezed through a 1-2-3 sixth inning, and the A’s are still looking for their first hit.

Brandon Moss, Seth Smith and Eric Sogard were taken care of in the sixth. Moss popped out to Ryan Lavarnway in foul territory, Smith flied out to Jonny Gomes in left field and Sogard grounded out to Dustin Pedroia at second base.

Workman has thrown 88 pitches (52 strikes) through six innings, so that’s something to keep on the back burner as we move forward as well.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 1-0: Jacoby Ellsbury broke up a string of 13 in a row retired by Bartolo Colon, and he ended up scoring the game’s first run.

Ellsbury singled into left field with one out in the sixth inning, giving Boston its first hit since the second. He went from first base to third base when Daniel Nava hammered a 2-2 fastball into right field.

Dustin Pedroia finally put the Red Sox on the scoreboard with a single into left field. He stayed back on a changeup and drilled a line drive down the line.

Colon bounced back to retire David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes with runners at first and second, but Brandon Workman will now have the benefit of pitching with a lead.

The A’s are still looking for their first hit.

End 5th, 0-0: Brandon Workman is dealing right now.

Workman hasn’t surrendered a hit, and he now has five strikeouts after blowing an up-and-in fastball by Josh Reddick to end the fifth inning.

Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes each flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury for the first two outs of the fifth. Ellsbury has had to deal with a tough sun field all day, but he’s done a nice job thus far.

Workman has been awesome, but Bartolo Colon has been fantastic as well. The Red Sox squared up some balls in the first two innings, but they couldn’t push across a run, and they haven’t been able to do anything ever since.

Mid 5th, 0-0: Bartolo Colon has retired 12 in a row.

Mike Carp, Ryan Lavarnway and Brock Holt went down in order in the fifth inning. Carp flied out to center, Lavarnway struck out and Holt flied out to left.

The A’s were finally able to get a baserunner in the fourth inning, but they still don’t have a hit. Let’s see if they can break that trend against Brandon Workman in the fifth.

End 4th, 0-0: The A’s strung together some lengthy at-bats and got their first baserunner of the game. Brandon Workman didn’t seem fazed.

John Jaso capped a fantastic at-bat with a one-out walk. Jaso fell behind in the count, 0-2, but he fouled off numerous pitches before eventually earning a free pass on the 10th pitch he saw.

Josh Donaldson also saw 10 pitches and worked the count full, but Workman struck him out looking. Jaso was running on the pitch, and Ryan Lavarnway fired down to second base. Dustin Pedroia scooped the throw in the dirt and slapped down a tag to complete the strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play.

Donaldson didn’t agree with the strike three call, as the pitch was located low and away. Workman received the benefit of the doubt, though, and he’s through four no-hit innings.

Mid 4th, 0-0: Runs were tough to come by on Saturday. They’re not coming any easier in this one.

Bartolo Colon enjoyed his second consecutive 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, and he has now retired nine straight.

David Ortiz put up a very good at-bat after Dustin Pedroia flied out to begin the inning. He saw eight pitches, fouling off four of them, but Colon eventually won the battle when Ortiz hit a little dribbler down the third base line. John Jaso came out from behind the plate to make a play.

Colon capped the perfect inning with a strikeout of Jonny Gomes. Gomes went down looking on a high fastball on the inside corner.

End 3rd, 0-0: Brandon Workman was perfect in his first trip through the A’s lineup.

Brandon Moss grounded to short to lead things off in the third inning. Jose Iglesias charged in, made the play and fired a strong sidearm/underhand toss to first base to complete the out.

Iglesias then realized that plays on the ground are much easier to take care of than anything in the air right now. Seth Smith hit a popup along the third base line, and Iglesias gave chase. Iglesias lost the ball in the sun, though, and it dropped foul, giving Smith a second chance. Smith couldn’t cash in, as he flied out to center field.

Eric Sogard grounded out to second base to end the inning.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: Bartolo Colon tossed his first 1-2-3 inning in the third.

Jose Iglesias, Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava went down in order against the 40-year-old.

Iglesias grounded out to his shortstop counterpart, Jed Lowrie, for the first out. Ellsbury then lined out to right field before Nava ended the inning with a chopper to the right side.

Ellsbury actually went down and made solid contact on a low slider, but his line drive was right at Josh Reddick.

End 2nd, 0-0: Brandon Workman has been very sharp through two innings. He has retired the first six batters he’s faced.

Workman picked up two strikeouts while tossing a 1-2-3 second inning. Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick were the victims.

Lowrie went down swinging at a cutter upstairs for the first out, and Reddick fanned on a 93 mph fastball in a 3-2 count.

Yoenis Cespedes split the two K’s with a popout into foul territory. Ryan Lavarnway ditched the mask and battled the sun to make the grab along the first base line.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox couldn’t get any timely hits in Satuday’s game, and that trend continued in the second inning of this one.

Jonny Gomes led off with a double into the left-field corner. He moved up to third base two batters later, but the Sox couldn’t push him across.

Mike Carp, who is getting the start in place of Mike Napoli, lined out to short for the inning’s first out. Gomes couldn’t advance then, but he did advance when Ryan Lavarnway grounded out to third base.

Brock Holt, who is riding a seven-game hitting streak, couldn’t cash in with the runner 90 feet away. He flied out to Coco Crisp in center field.

End 1st, 0-0: Brandon Workman is off to a good start.

Workman may have some jitters in his first major league start, but you couldn’t tell in the first inning. He pitched a perfect frame.

Workman struck out Coco Crisp to begin his afternoon. Crisp went down looking at a 3-2 fastball on the inside corner. Ryan Lavarnway was actually set up outside and Workman’s pitched tailed back in, but Crisp couldn’t get the bat off his shoulder.

John Jaso flied out to left field for the second out, and Josh Donaldson grounded to third base to end the inning.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia’s focus certainly hasn’t wandered toward the All-Star break. He showed he’s still very much focused on the task at hand — as if there was really any doubt — with a hustle double in the first inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury led off the ballgame with a line-drive single into right-center field. He wasn’t able to cause any trouble on the bases, though, as Daniel Nava grounded the second pitch he saw to second base to start up a double play. Eric Sogard fielded Nava’s grounder and tagged Ellsbury before tossing to first.

Pedroia then got a little something going with a ground ball into center field. It looked like a single, but Pedroia, who was hustling out of the box, aggressively took an extra base.

That put a runner into scoring position for David Ortiz, but Bartolo Colon struck out the slugger with a nasty fastball on the inside corner.

Brandon Workman, who is making his first major league start, now heads to the mound.

4:07 p.m.: The 40-year-old Bartolo Colon delivers a first-pitch strike, and the final game of the first half is underway.

4:02 p.m.: The Red Sox are going for win No. 59 on Sunday. Since 2004, the only team with as many as 58 wins by the All-Star break was the 2006 Tigers, who eventually lost to the Cardinals in the World Series.

4:01 p.m.: A’s closer Grant Balfour has been named to the American League All-Star Team. It’s well-deserved, as Balfour is 25-for-25 in save opportunities this season.

3:58 p.m.: It’ll be interesting to see how Brandon Workman performs out of the gate.

The right-hander surrendered three runs on four hits in the first inning of his major league debut Wednesday. His second inning of work was far better, as he settled down to pitch a 1-2-3 frame while picking up two strikeouts. Workman struck out four Mariners hitters total in his first taste of major league action.

Workman features a live fastball that sits around 93-95 mph, and he has an excellent 12-6 curveball. His bread and butter is his control, which was actually ranked the best in the Red Sox minor league system by Baseball America.

Workman was named the Red Sox Pitcher of the Year in 2012 after going 10-8 with a 3.50 ERA between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland.

3:37 p.m.: Brandon Workman got the nod over Drake Britton for Sunday’s start, but Britton will still be available, as the Red Sox have called up the left-hander.

Britton was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. Jackie Bradley Jr. has been optioned back to Pawtucket to make room for Britton, who is making his first major league stint.

Britton was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket from Double-A Portland on July 5, and he now arrives in The Show as Boston closes out its first half in Oakland.

3:12 p.m.: Here’s a little something from the fun fact department. On this date in 1977, Carl Yastrzemski passed Ted Williams (2,654) on the Red Sox’ all-time hits list. Yaz went on to rack up 3,419 hits over the course of his 23-year career.

For more on Yaz’s illustrious career, be sure to pop on over to BostonFanFavorites.com.

2:04 p.m.: The final lineup card of the first half has been posted, and it looks like some regular starters will enjoy an extended All-Star break.

Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are all out of the lineup for the Red Sox on Sunday. Victorino has been banged up of late, and Saltalamacchia will get the day off with the day game after a night game.

Jonny Gomes will join the outfield with Victorino out. He’ll play left field and bat fifth, while Daniel Nava will shift over to right field and bat second.

Mike Carp will start in place of Napoli at first base and bat sixth, while Lavarnway will catch and bat seventh.

Sunday’s complete lineup is below.

Red Sox (58-38)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Mike Carp, 1B
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Brock Holt, 3B
Jose Iglesias, SS

Brandon Workman, RHP (0-0, 13.50 ERA)

8 a.m. ET: Can you believe that the first half of the season is already about to be over?

One game separates the Red Sox and the All-Star break, and what a first half it has been for Boston. The Red Sox have certainly exceeded expectations, as they hold the American League’s best record and enter Sunday’s first-half finale with a 3 1/2-game lead in the AL East. Boston’s 58 wins are the most before the All-Star break in franchise history.

The Red Sox will need a bounce-back effort Sunday to ensure that they close out the first half on a positive note. The Red Sox’ offense had an off night Saturday, as Boston couldn’t muster up a run against A.J. Griffin and Grant Balfour. The Sox had some chances, but they couldn’t produce the timely hits that had been a staple of their four-game winning streak, and the Athletics rolled to a 3-0 victory.

Sunday’s rubber match will feature a very unique pitching matchup, as rookie Brandon Workman will go up against 40-year-old Bartolo Colon. Workman is making his first big league start, while Colon will be appearing in his 400th career game.

Don’t let Colon’s age fool you, though. Although he looked washed up with the Red Sox in 2008, Colon has since rebounded, and he enters Sunday’s start with 12 wins and another All-Star selection to his credit.

Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog as we close the book on the first half.