OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland A's are having about as much fun as you can have on a baseball field, while the misery and torture drones on for the remaining games for the Boston Red Sox.
The A's scored four runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Brandon Inge, as Oakland recorded its eighth straight win by beating the Boston Red Sox 7-1 on Saturday night. Coco Crisp was a triple shy of the cycle.
"It's great. For a good portion of the season we were struggling, now we're a completely different team offensively," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "There's a lot of confidence, not only through our lineup tonight, it's everybody that's contributing and everybody that's getting playing time. That creates a really nice feel within the clubhouse and everybody feels they have a part in it and that's a good thing."
Rookie A.J. Griffin has pitched like a grizzled veteran. Making his ninth career start, and first in nearly a month since he was brought back from the 15-day disabled list for right shoulder stiffness, Griffin retired the first 14 batters and ended up giving up three hits and a run in seven innings, with five strikeouts.
"It's awesome (to be back). This is a great group of guys and I'd go out and battle with them any day," Griffin said. "It was kind of hard to be on the DL and just watch them when you want to get out there and contribute. Now I'm back and they gave me that chance thankfully, and I'm looking forward to being able to contribute more."
"The command is what we've always seen," Melvin said. "Everything we saw before he went on the DL we saw again tonight -- all his pitches, command, both sides (of the plate), great touch spinning the ball. That's what he does."
It has been a disastrous season for the Red Sox, who have lost their last six road games to fall 10 games below .500.
"It's getting old, real old," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "The offense is stressed, and it's a tough way to play the game."
Felix Doubront lasted only three innings, giving up six hits and five runs. Doubront (10-7) lost his third straight decision and has 11 quality starts in 24 outings.
"(Felix) didn't have that put-away pitch," Valentine said. "It started off with a two-strike home run and then when they had two strikes they started fouling balls off. They just wore him down."
Tensions boiled over in the fourth inning when Jonny Gomes hit a foul pop up along the first-base line. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and first baseman James Loney both tried to catch the ball. Aceves called off both players at the last moment before dropping the ball.
One pitch later, Gomes fouled out along the right-field line and this time Aceves backed off from making a play. During the inning break, TV cameras recorded Dustin Pedroia yelling at Aceves in the dugout.
Eventually, third-base coach Jerry Royster had to intervene. Valentine also tried to talk to Aceves, but the reliever refused to listen.
"The conversation wasn't a result of any play," Valentine said. "It's just a general Alfredo being Alfredo and Dustin being a baseball player."
Pedroia was more to the point.
"That's none of your guys' business; it's between teammates," Pedroia said.
Boston's first hit was a controversial one. With Griffin pitching a perfect game into the fifth inning, Saltalamacchia laid a bunt down the third-base line and easily made it to first base because no one was defending the foul line.
"It is what it is, a good way for you to get momentum for your team," Griffin said of Saltamacchia's bunt hit. "But you can't do anything about it. Just try to get the next guy out, that's all you can do ... whatever."
Ryan Lavarnway ended any possible controversy when he hit a clean single to right field to lead off the sixth inning.
Later in the frame, Pedroia singled to left, scoring Pedro Ciriaco, who had reached on a fielder's choice. Pedroia moved to within four hits of 1,000 for his career.
Veteran Cody Ross in his first year with Boston summed up their frustrations.
"It seems like everything (Oakland) is doing is working and everything we're doing is not," he said. "That's kind of the way it's been the whole year."
NOTES: The A's got their 75th win, exceeding their win total of 74 from 2011. ... Oakland improved to a season-best 18 games over .500 for the first time since 2006. ... The A's also hit two more home runs and have 153 -- the most since clubbing 171 in 2007. ... Inge who was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list before the ballgame, left in the bottom of the fifth after he aggravated his sprained right shoulder. Inge told reporters he would have season-ending shoulder surgery but wants to travel and remain in uniform with his team while he's on the mend. ... On this date in 2002, Miguel Tejada hit a walk-off home run against Twins reliever Eddie Guardado to secure the A's 18th consecutive win. The 2002 squad recorded an American League-record 20 straight victories. ... Boston pitcher Rich Hill was reinstated from the 60-day DL and pitched 2/3 inning, issuing one walk and two strikeouts.