Final, A's 6-2: Oakland completes the series sweep. Red Sox rookie Mauro Gomez hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth to reduce the final margin, but Grant Balfour struck out Ryan Lavarnway to seal the victory.
The Red Sox remain winless on their West Coast trip after a rough outing by Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4). Matsuzaka pitched 3 2/3 erratic innings for the Sox, yielding all six of Oakland's runs. A's starter Brett Anderson (3-0) countered with six strong innings of work. Oakland remains on top of the AL wild card standings, while Boston falls to 11 games below .500.
The Sox finish their West Coast trip against the Seattle Mariners tomorrow. Tune into NESN at 2:30 p.m. on Labor Day for the game, then visit NESN.com for more Red Sox news.
End 8th, A's 6-1: Stephen Drew gets a leadoff double for the A's, but Mark Melancon sets down the next three A's for the Red Sox. The A's send in closer Grant Balfour to face the Red Sox in the ninth inning.
Mid 8th, A's 6-1: Doolittle does a lot and sets the Red Sox down in order. Coco Crisp helped Doolittle out with an athletic running catch on a Pedro Ciriaco fly ball. The Red Sox send Mark Melancon to the mound in relief of Junichi Tazawa.
End 7th, A's 6-1: Dustin Pedroia and James Loney team up for a neat inning-ending out. Pedroia raced back to field a hit up the middle by A's third baseman Josh Donaldson, then threw a looping throw to first base, where Loney reached high to make the catch. A's reliever Sean Doolittle is on in relief heading into the eighth inning.
Mid 7th, A's 6-1: Cook sets down the Red Sox in order. Junichi Tazawa is relieving Craig Breslow heading into the bottom of the seventh.
6:15 p.m.: A's pitcher Brett Anderson is done for the day after six strong innings. Former A's reliever Ryan Cook is on for Oakland in the top of the seventh.
End 6th, A's 6-1: When in doubt, ask a Yale man. Craig Breslow sets down the A's in order in the sixth, keeping the margin within reach for the Red Sox.
6:08 p.m.: Manager Bobby Valentine puts out a Yale battery for the Red Sox, as Craig Breslow relieves Andrew Miller.
Mid 6th, A's 6-1: Boston breaks through with a run in the top of the sixth. The Red Sox loaded the bases on a infield single by Dustin Pedroia. Cody Ross then put the Red Sox on the board with an RBI single, but Scott Podsednik made an ill-fated attempt to score on the play and was thrown out at home with room to spare.
End 5th, A's 6-0: Andrew Miller calms down the A's bats in the fifth inning, holding Oakland scoreless in an inning for the first time today.
Mid 5th, A's 6-0: Brett Anderson keeps his shutout going with a 1-2-3 inning against the Red Sox. Anderson strikes out Yale graduate Ryan Lavarnway, who will still have a Yale degree regardless of his performance today.
End 4th, A's 6-0: Daisuke Matsuzaka's day is done after 3 2/3 rough innings in Oakland. The A's started off in the fourth with a stolen base from Cliff Pennington, who then scored on a bases-loaded infield groundout. Andrew Miller takes over for Matsuzaka and closes out the inning with a strikeout.
Mid 4th, A's 5-0: The Red Sox go down in order in the top of the fourth. Daisuke Matsuzaka will apparently come back out for the bottom of the frame, as NESN's team in Oakland notes that Andrew Miller is taking a seat in the bullpen.
End 3rd, A's 5-0: Oakland builds its lead on the backs of former Red Sox players. Coco Crisp scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick. Stephen Drew adds an RBI single to boost the A's lead to five runs.
NESN's Jerry Remy notes that Matsuzaka's frustration is mounting with today's strike zone. Don Orsillo's earlier stat is now updated: The Sox have been outscored 31-3 during the first three innings of the Sox' West Coast games.
Mid 3rd, A's 3-0: Pedro Ciriaco singles to right, but that's it for the Sox in the top of the third inning. Former Red Sox player Coco Crisp is up first for the A's.
End 2nd, A's 3-0: Stephen Drew hits a home run off Matsuzaka, increasing the A's lead to three runs. A stat from NESN's Don Orsillo: In the first three innings of their West Coast games, the Red Sox have been outscored 29-3.
Mid 2nd, A's 2-0: Brett Anderson has an efficient 1-2-3 inning for the A's. Oakland looks to add to its lead in the bottom of the second.
End 1st, A's 2-0: The Sox are behind in the first inning again. A two-run homer by Oakland designated hitter Seth Smith has given the A's the early lead. Matsuzaka responded with three quick outs, but yet again, the Sox will be playing from behind.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 13 games, but that's all the damage the A's give up in the top of the first inning. Matsuzaka is heading out to the mound for the Sox.
4:08 p.m.: It's first pitch in suburban San Francisco, as A's pitcher Brett Anderson faces down the Red Sox. Stay with NESN's Red Sox live blog all game for updates from today's game in Oakland.
4:03 p.m.: Boston expatriates are storming the O.co Coliseum to see their beloved Sox try to stave off an Oakland sweep. For those unfamiliar with Oakland, it's best to stay that way. The team in Oakland is hot, however, and it's going to be a challenge for the Red Sox to avoid their sixth straight loss out West. First pitch is moments away.
3:55 p.m.: The West Coast malaise is affecting more than just the Red Sox. Adrian Gonzalez is underperforming in Los Angeles since his move to the Dodgers, hitting .182 with a three-game hitless streak. Gonzalez attributes part of his batting struggles to his time in Boston, of course.
3:35 p.m.: Today's Red Sox pregame shows on NESN are recapping last night's squabble between Alfredo Aceves and Dustin Pedroia. The argument symbolized the West Coast swing for the Sox, who have dropped to 10 games below .500.
Daisuke Matsusaka faces the task of cooling off a red-hot Oakland A's team. Oakland leads the AL wild card race and sits just three games out of the AL West lead.
1:50 p.m.: First pitch is just a couple of hours away, so we've got some lineups for you:
Pedro Ciriaco, LF
Scott Podsednik, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Cody Ross, RF
Mauro Gomez, 3B
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Mike Aviles, DH
James Loney, 1B
Jose Iglesias, SS
Daisuke Matsuzaka, P
Coco Crisp, CF
Seth Smith, DH
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Brandon Moss, 1B
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Derek Norris, C
Cliff Pennington, 2B
Brett Anderson, P
8a.m. ET: Daisuke Matsuzaka was a revelation in his most recent return from the disabled list, zipping through seven innings of scoreless ball for the Red Sox on Monday as Boston rolled past Kansas City 5-1.
It was an encouraging outing for Matsuzaka (1-3, 5.10 ERA) and the Sox (62-72), who both looked to be ready to turn a page on a dismal season and get back to winning. But, while Matsuzaka was great in that start (five hits, six strikeouts), the Red Sox haven't done a thing in the win column since he last took the mound. Boston and soon-to-be free agent Matsuzaka will look to change that Sunday against the A's in the final matchup of a three-game series.
Lefty Brett Anderson (2-0, 0.64) gets the call for Oakland (65-57). Anderson, who has pitched just twice this season after coming back from Tommy John surgery, has been sterling for the A's. He went seven innings in both of his starts this month, allowing six hits overall and just one earned run. Anderson is in his fourth year with Oakland, going 23-23 over his career with a 3.55 ERA.
The tilt begins at 4:07, but NESN will have pregame shows and the Ultimate Red Sox Show coming your way sooner. Be sure to check back here for more info and analysis as the game goes on.
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