Athletics 15, Red Sox 2

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BOSTON (AP)—Oakland’s best offensive game of the year Thursday night ended a series in which the AL’s two best pitching staffs got pounded.

Eric Chavez and Scott Hatteberg homered and drove in three runs each, and the Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 15-2 to salvage the series finale.

Boston won the first two 12-2 and 9-6, and the teams with the league’s two lowest ERAs combined for 75 hits in the three games.

“We kind of got beat around a little the first two games,” Hatteberg said. “It’s good to do the same to them.”

The Athletics led 12-0 after four innings, scoring three runs in both the first and second and six in the fourth when they had a homer, four doubles and a single. They added three unearned runs in the seventh and had season-highs in runs and hits (17).

“I guess this is too much to ask, but this was probably televised, right?” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Just a bad night, a tough night.”

Mark Mulder (6-2) had his streak of three complete games snapped, allowing two runs on four hits and issuing a career-high seven walks in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four.

“I couldn’t throw a strike,” he said. “I walked a lot of guys but I did a lot of it with two outs so it didn’t hurt me.”

Boston’s winning streak ended at five games after its pitching staff, which began the night with a major league-best 3.53 ERA, gave up a season-high 17 hits and the most runs allowed by the Red Sox since a 15-9 loss to Tampa Bay on July 24.

Bronson Arroyo (2-2) gave up nine runs—six earned—and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings.

“It’s tough to forget about a game like this,” he said. “They’re traditionally a team that has taken a lot of pitches and they did it in the first inning. But then after that they seemed to come out swinging and hit a lot of balls hard.”

Oakland’s six runs in an inning were a season high. Mulder’s previous career high for walks was five against Texas on April 21, 2001.

The Athletics went ahead 3-0 in the first on Chavez’s RBI groundout and Erubiel Durazo’s two-run double, the first of his four hits. In the second, Eric Byrnes doubled in a run and scored on Chavez’s AL leading 13th homer of the year, a two-run shot.

“It seems so often our pitching has carried us, so it’s nice to come out and score some runs,” Byrnes said.

Arroyo pitched a perfect third then struggled again in the fourth. Doubles by Bobby Crosby, Marco Scutaro and Byrnes produced two runs and brought in Jamie Brown to replace Arroyo.

“Early on, (Arroyo) was having a tough time getting a feel for what he was doing and he paid the price,” Francona said.

Brown walked Chavez, Jermaine Dye made it 9-0 with an RBI double and Hatteberg hit his fifth homer to add three more runs as Gabe Kapler fell over the low wall in right-field and into the stands trying to track down the fly.

“He went flying in there like he had a bead on it,” Hatteberg said. “He made a heck of an effort.”

Mulder said he didn’t think about his last appearance in Fenway Park on Aug. 19, when he left after three innings with what was believed to be a right hip strain. It later was diagnosed as a stress fracture in his right leg and he didn’t pitch again last year.

On Thursday, he walked the bases loaded with one out in the first then struck out the next two batters.

“I had to do something there,” Mulder said. “We had a three-run lead and I didn’t want to give back one or two.”

Boston scored its runs in the sixth. With one out, Kevin Youkilis walked, Kapler doubled and Pokey Reese drove in a run with a groundout. Doug Mirabellithen singled in Kapler.

Notes

Oakland’s previous season high was 11 runs on May 7 in a 13-inning win over Minnesota. … The 15 runs were the most against the Red Sox this season. On April 15, they lost to Baltimore 12-7 in 11 innings. … Oakland last scored 15 runs on Aug. 24 in a 17-2 win over Toronto. … Manny Ramirez walked in allthree of his at-bats.

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