Athletics 8, Red Sox 6

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BOSTON (AP)—The Oakland Athletics’ offense has shown the ability to capitalize on a little bit of luck.

Catcher Doug Mirabelli’s fielding error in the eighth inning allowed Erubiel Durazo to score the go-ahead run as the Athletics rallied for the second straight night, beating the Boston Red Sox 8-6 on Wednesday.

“I feel like we stole two games,” Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez said. “These aren’t the kind of games we’re going to win down the line.”

The A’s, who scored three runs in the seventh inning in Tuesday’s 3-2 win, trailed 6-2 after four innings. They scored four runs off Byung-Hyun Kim in the eighth.

On Tuesday, Oakland rallied after starter Mark Mulder had to leave with a hip injury.

“Winning games like this can propel a team,” said A’s first baseman Scott Hatteberg, who tied the game with an eighth-inning single. “It’s a significant comeback. Offensively, we’ve been struggling a little bit.”

Miguel Tejada and Durazo hit solo homers for the Athletics, who won their fourth straight.

The A’s hit just .237 in their previous 45 games, and own the AL’s second-worst team average at .251—48 points behind the Red Sox.

“I don’t know where to start on that game,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “We’ve been down 5-1 and 6-2. Normally, (Tim) Wakefield is tough on us.”

Oakland moved two games ahead of the Red Sox in the AL’s wild-card chase, and closed within three games behind Seattle in the West.

Gabe Kapler and Damian Jackson each drove in a pair of runs for the Red Sox, who have lost nine of 13 games and fallen a season-high 7 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.

The Red Sox stranded 17 baserunners.

“We felt like we had the right people up there at the right time at several points in the game, but we couldn’t get more runs across,” Boston manager Grady Little said.

The A’s had three straight hits off Kim to open the eighth, cutting it to 6-5 on Durazo’s RBI single. Scott Hatteberg hit an RBI single to tie it after Ramon Hernandez struck out.

With runners on first and third, Mark Ellis then hit a high chopper to third. Bill Mueller’s throw got past Mirabelli and Tejada slid home safely to make it 7-6.

“I saw the ball the whole time,” Mirabelli said. “That’s why I thought it was going to hit him.”

Scott Sauerbeck relieved Kim (5-4), who left to a chorus of boos. Chris Singleton’s sacrifice fly made it 8-6.

Kim gave up four hits and four runs—three earned—while getting just one out. It was his second blown save in 11 chances since moving into the closer’s role.

“The team knows how important this game was,” Kim said through an interpreter. “I did my best out there. I just didn’t have good stuff.”

Chad Bradford (7-3) got two outs for the win. Keith Foulke worked the ninth for his 33rd save in 38 chances.

Boston took a 5-1 lead with a four-run third. Kapler’s RBI double moved the Red Sox ahead 2-1 after Manny Ramirez doubled and Jason Varitek singled. Jackson followed with a two-out, two-run double, and scored on Johnny Damon’s single.

Tejada’s homer cut it to 5-2 in the fourth before Kapler drove in a run on a groundout in the bottom half.

Oakland starter Ted Lilly lasted just 3 1-3 innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits.

Wakefield gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings.

Jose Guillen had a run-scoring single and Eric Chavez an RBI double as Oakland narrowed it to 6-4 in the fifth.

The Red Sox jumped ahead 1-0 on Varitek’s bases-loaded walk in the first,but Durazo’s homer tied it in the second.

Notes

Pedro Martinez faces A’s rookie Rich Harden in the series finale Thursday. … Jackson left before the start of the fourth inning after spraining a ligament in his left middle finger sliding headfirst into second in the third. … Mueller brought out the lineup card for the Red Sox. Each of his teammates had at least one by the fifth inning, but he went 0-for-5. … RHP Tim Hudson, hit on the back of his pitching hand by Toronto’s Dave Berg’s liner in his last start, was pushed back to Sunday. Harden will take his place. … Martinez missed the Red Sox’ team picture. … Tejada was just 2-for-17 before his homer. … Mulder, who left Tuesday with a hip injury after two innings, flew to Arizona to see a physical therapist. He will likely miss his nextstart.

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