OAKLAND, Calif. — Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and Adrian Beltre homered to help the Boston Red Sox snap the Oakland Athletics five-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory Monday night.
Eric Patterson tripled and scored against his former team as the Red Sox got off to a strong start on their 10-game West Coast road trip. Boston had lost eight of 11 heading into this crucial trip that continues in Seattle and Anaheim.
Ben Sheets (4-9) put together another solid outing for the A's, allowing just two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. But he was once again done in by a lack of offensive support.
Sheets was the beneficiary of a big night from the bats in his last start before the All-Star break as Oakland beat the Los Angeles Angels 15-1, but has gotten only one run of support in nine of his 20 starts this season.
That was the case once again against Matsuzaka (7-3), who has won back-to-back starts after going more than a month without a win.
Matsuzaka, who lasted only one inning in his last start in Oakland a year ago, was much sharper this time around. He retired the first seven batters of the game before Rajai Davis drove the ball over the left-field wall to give the A's a 1-0 lead.
Matsuzaka struck out the next two batters and didn't allow another hit until Mark Ellis hit a two-out double in the seventh inning. That put runners on second and third and ended the night for Matsuzaka, who struck out six and walked two in 6 2-3 innings.
Daniel Bard relieved Matsuzaka and got Gabe Gross to pop out to third base to end the threat. The A's put two runners on in the eighth against Bard, but Kurt Suzuki grounded out to end that inning. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 24 opportunities.
The A's, coming off a three-game sweep in Kansas City, were looking to move above .500 for the first time since June 11 but were unable to generate nearly enough offense.
The Red Sox took the lead in the fourth when Patterson legged out a leadoff triple to snap an 0-for-11 string. Patterson was traded from Oakland to Boston on June 26 and five of his first eight hits for the Red Sox have gone for extra bases.
Patterson scored on David Ortiz's sacrifice fly. Then with two outs, Beltre hit a drive to left-center for his 15th home run to give Boston a 2-1 lead.
Sheets left the game after walking Marco Scutaro to load the bases with two outs in the seventh inning, kicking the ground in apparent disgust as he walked back to the dugout. Jerry Blevins helped him escape the jam by getting pinch-hitter Bill Hall to ground out.
The last 10 games between the teams had been played in Boston, the longest such streak between the teams since 1919. … A's 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff was scratched with a stiff back. … Oakland placed OF Ryan Sweeney on the DL with a right knee injury that will require season-ending surgery. … Boston 3B Mike Lowell had a cortisone injection in his injured right hip Monday and will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. … OF Jeremy Hermida (ribs) is expected to join the Red Sox in Seattle later this week after playing two rehab games at Pawtucket.