Red Sox 7, Athletics 3
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—The Boston Red Sox always show manager Terry Francona they have a knack for forgetting the tough defeats and moving forward.
Richie Sexson’s walkoff home run for Seattle a day before was a distant memory come Monday.
“They turn the page and they play,” Francona said, a night after his team’s wild 9-8 loss to the Mariners. “They don’t have the hangover effect.”
Ortiz connected for a solo shot to right for his 95th RBI of the year and Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer, the 11th time the two have homered in the same game this season.
Ramirez hit a towering shot to right with two outs in the third for his 462nd career home run, tying him for 28th place on the all-time list with Jose Canseco and Jim Thome. The Coliseum crowd of 33,370 featured about half Red Sox fans, who chanted “Manny! Manny!” after he crushed a 2-1 pitch from Barry Zito for his 27th homer of the year.
After Ortiz hit his leading off the fifth, it was “Papi! Papi!”
“It felt not quite like we were in Boston,” Zito said. “Somewhere in the middle, like Kansas.”
Alex Gonzalez added a solo shot earlier in the four-run third inning for the Red Sox, who bounced back with a lopsided win after they lost the last two games in a weekend series at Seattle following a five-game winning streak.
Boston remained 2 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East standings after New York won 6-2 at Texas.
Ortiz has hit 22 of his home runs on the road, five shy of his total from last year away from Fenway Park.
“I’m a better hitter on the road,” he said. “Fenway is not an easy place to hit. Fenway takes away home runs.”
Beckett (13-5) allowed five hits and three runs, struck out four and walked two in six innings, avenging a loss to the A’s on July 14. Beckett became Boston’s earliest 13-game winner since Derek Lowe earned his 13th win on July 17, 2002.
“I’m here to make every start and keep my team in the game,” Beckett said. “I feel I’ve done that most of the time. I hit a few speed bumps.”
Nick Swisher broke up Beckett’s shutout bid with a homer to right to start the fifth, giving him 22 for the year to top the 21 home runs he hit as a rookie in 2005. Milton Bradley added an RBI single and Oakland scored its third run when Frank Thomas grounded into a double play.
Beckett built on one of his best outings of the season. Last Wednesday, he shut out the Kansas City Royals for eight innings and allowed four hits while striking out seven and not walking a batter. Afterward, the club announced a three-year contract extension for the right-hander.
“I have never felt he was thinking about it,” Francona said of Beckett’s $30 million deal. “It’s great that it’s done. He’s got some high aspirations. I think if anything, it will spur him on.”
Zito (10-7), Oakland’s only All-Star representative this month, gave up seven runs for the first time since the A’s lost 15-2 on opening night to New York.
Oakland, which just completed a 6-4 road trip, fell into a first-place tie with the Angels after Los Angels won at Tampa Bay.
Every Boston player had reached base against Zito by the fifth inning. Coco Crisp singled in a run after his hit went under the glove of a diving Jay Payton in left. Kevin Youkilis added a sacrifice fly two batters later.
Zito allowed three home runs for only the second time this year—against Texas on April 25—and threw 96 pitches in five innings. He allowed nine hits, struck out four and walked one.
Ortiz and Ramirez only need to homer in one more game together to match the club record they set in 2004. They have homered in the same game 41 times in all, with Boston going 36-5 in those contests.
“It’s definitely the toughest consecutive hitters in baseball. Everyone knows that,” Zito said.
A’s third baseman Eric Chavez, still bothered by tendinitis in both forearms that affects his swing, was set to get the day off but asked manager Ken Macha to put him in the lineup. Batting in the eighth hole, he singled in the fifth.
Ortiz and Ramirez have homered together in 10 road games this year. Overall, the Red Sox are 9-2 in the games in which both players homer. … Zito, who lost for the first time in three starts since the break, had not allowed more than three runs in his previous seven starts since the Yankees scored five against the lefty June 11. … Red Sox LHP David Wells pitched five innings in a simulated game. Wells, on the DL since May 27 with a right knee contusion, will be re-evaluated Tuesday to see how he came through the outing and to determine when he might start a rehab assignment. … Chavez batted eighth for the first time since Sept. 26, 2001.