Red Sox 8, Athletics 7, 10 innings
BOSTON (AP)—The Boston Red Sox are finally healthy and the results are showing.
Their 8-7 10-inning win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night gave them a three-game sweep over the A’s, the first time Boston has won three straight games in a month.
“The extra-inning loss in New York last week got us rolling as a team,” catcher Jason Varitek said. “Now we have our starting lineup together and we’re going to be ready for the second half of the season.”
Mueller missed 37 games this year after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but returned six games ago.
The A’s have been swept four times this year, matching their season total for last season. It was the first three-game sweep of the A’s at Fenway Park since April 13-15, 1998.
Oakland has lost 16 of its last 22 road games and is 19-25 away from home.
“That was a tough loss, but a lot of good things came out of it,” A’s manager Ken Macha said. “That was an impressive comeback.”
Justin Lehr (0-1) started the 10th for the A’s. He struck out Jason Varitek and got Mark Bellhorn to ground out before Damon singled to left. Mueller then hit a ball to the wall in center field that was bobbled by Mark Kotsay. Damon beat Bobby Crosby’s throw to the plate.
Curt Leskanic (1-4) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the win.
Oakland scored three runs in the eighth inning to tie the game 7-7. Marco Scutaro led off the inning with a single. Adam Melhuse, pinch hitting for Ramon Castro, drove home Scutaro with a double. Red Sox reliever Alan Embree, who entered in relief of Schilling in the sixth, retired Kotsay. Keith Foulke came on to strike out Eric Byrnes. But Scott Hatteberg singled to score Melhuse and Jermaine Dye tripled to score Hatteberg and tie the game.
It was Foulke’s second straight blown save opportunity, and fourth in 17 chances.
“I was embarrassed by the way I pitched the eighth,” Foulke said.
Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead when he sent his 23rd home run over the Boston bullpen in the first inning. Boston added three runs in the third. Ortiz doubled with two outs and Mueller on base and Ramirez hit his 24th home run.
Byrnes’ 11th home run put the A’s on the scoreboard in the fifth inning.
“I’ve washed my hands of the first half of the season,” Millar said. “I decided when we got back home Tuesday I was going to play more relaxed.”
Rich Harden threw five innings and gave up seven earned runs on seven hits. He walked six and struck out seven.
Schilling pitched 5 1-3 innings and gave up three earned runs on 11 hits. He didn’t allow a walk. It was the 16th time in 18 starts he threw more than 100 pitches. But it was only the second time this season he has given up 10 or more hits in a game.
“I came out tonight and my goal was to make sure we had the lead after three innings,” Schilling said. “I just tried to go out and stay focused, but things fell apart so quick. I don’t have a reason why, other than I didn’t execute.”
Oakland began its comeback with two runs in the sixth on four straight hits to cut the Boston lead to 7-3. Erubiel Durazo led off with a double and went to third on Crosby’s single. Damien Miller then singled to right to score Durazo. Scutaro singled to left to load the bases.
Castro hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Crosby.
The A’s added a run in seventh on an RBI single by Crosby off Mike Timlin.
Damon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a infield single in the first. … Ortiz’s home run broke an 0-for-18 slump. He also doubled and singled in the game. … The Red Sox are 14-3 when Millar drives in a run. … The A’s have allowed 11 home runs in the last six games, but just 79 for the year.