Boston at Oakland

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Boston0200002004120
Oakland «00004002x692

Eight's enough as A's snap their longest skid since '98

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Matt Watson was taken aback by the frustration he found in the tense Oakland clubhouse two days ago, when the fun-loving Athletics' losing streak was stretching into its second week.

So their new outfielder provided some relief with a key hit against the Boston Red Sox -- and some of that same frustration is now building with the World Series champions.

Watson hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning, and Oakland snapped its eight-game skid with a 6-4 victory Monday night.

Watson was called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday to put some pop in the majors' worst offense, and he came through with a bases-loaded hit off Mike Timlin. When closer Octavio Dotel managed to avoid giving up his third ninth-inning homer to the Red Sox in seven days, the A's finally had the breaks they needed.

"Everybody has been pressing here, trying to get the big hit," Watson said. "I was just hoping to be able to help the team out any way I could. You always press a little bit to get the first one, and show the guys what you can do."

Eric Chavez snapped a 5-for-37 skid with three hits, and Mark Kotsay had a three-run triple in the fifth for the A's, who finally ended their longest losing streak since July 21-29, 1998, when they lost nine in a row. All eight of Oakland's losses came against AL East powers Boston and New York, including the Yankees' three-game sweep during the weekend.

"It's been a prolonged down, but it's still early, and there's a lot of great ballplayers in here," said Kirk Saarloos, who allowed just seven singles over six innings in another solid start for the A's.

Chavez and Erubiel Durazo led off the eighth with singles off Mike Myers (1-1), who left the game after Durazo's broken-bat hit struck him on the arm. Timlin walked Scott Hatteberg to load the bases with one out, and Watson's grounder was just out of Mark Bellhorn's reach at second base.

Despite seven strong innings from Bronson Arroyo, the Red Sox lost for the third time in four games on this West Coast road swing, stranding 13 runners and making far too many mistakes in pitch selection, defensive positioning and other little things.

"If we were hitting with runners in scoring position, we would be five, six games ahead of the (first-place) Orioles right now," said Johnny Damon, who went 0-for-3 and struck out twice with runners in scoring position. "We just haven't been hitting lately. We haven't really hit our stride yet. We're going to be beating up on some people real soon."

Boston swept three games from the A's at Fenway Park last week, including two featuring game-ending homers off Dotel. He was in trouble again at the Coliseum, making an error while covering first base and allowing two runners to reach scoring position, but Dotel induced Bill Mueller to fly out for his seventh save in 11 chances.

Bellhorn had an early two-run single for the Red Sox, and David Ortiz tied it at 4-all with a two-run double in the seventh off A's reliever Keiichi Yabu (3-0), who wasted a two-run lead in just 10 pitches.

Yabu, who was expected to be Oakland's starter on Wednesday, allowed four hits and three walks in two innings, yet still picked up the win. Seth Etherton will get Wednesday's start instead, manager Ken Macha said.

Arroyo yielded six hits and faced little trouble from the weak-hitting A's -- except when they batted around in the fifth. Arroyo, who has won his last nine decisions, still remained unbeaten in his last 17 starts, extending the majors' longest active streak.

"I think he's human, (but) he's been so good," manager Terry Francona said. "We got ourselves into situations where we couldn't get one hit to give ourselves that big inning, or even the lead."

The A's loaded the bases with two hits and a hit batter in the fifth, and Kotsay drove everyone home with a sharp drive off the wall in right field. He later scored on Jason Kendall's groundout.

Saarloos, who threw a career-high 110 pitches, gave up three consecutive singles leading off the fourth, but escaped with two strikeouts and a fly ball by Edgar Renteria.

Notes

  • A's OF Bobby Kielty has no broken ribs, but he probably will miss a few days while resting his sore ribcage. Kielty, who's hitting .333 over his last 19 games, aggravated the injury Sunday.
  • Manny Ramirez, who hit his 400th homer Sunday, singled off the base of the center-field wall in the third inning.
  • The Coliseum was filled with just 30,281 fans -- well more than half wearing red and rooting for the Red Sox.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Erubiel Durazo slides home safely on Matt Watson's tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth.  (AP)
Erubiel Durazo slides home safely on Matt Watson's tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

M. Watson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Boston

M. Bellhorn
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Boston Red Sox
Johnny Damon, CF3100225 .365
Edgar Renteria, SS5010015 .246
David Ortiz, DH5012012 .283
Manny Ramirez, LF5010022 .246
Trot Nixon, RF4120101 .343
Jason Varitek, C5020015 .322
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3110104 .385
   a- Kevin Millar, PH1000000 .239
    Jay Payton, PR0000000 .203
Bill Mueller, 3B4020003 .264
Mark Bellhorn, 2B4122024 .232
Totals3941244931 
a-grounded out for Youkilis in the 9th
Batting
2B - David Ortiz (14, Yabu), Mark Bellhorn (13, Yabu)
RBI - David Ortiz 2 (27), Mark Bellhorn 2 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Bellhorn 2 (2)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Renteria-Bellhorn-Youkilis
Boston Red Sox
Bronson Arroyo 7644140 3.21
Mike Myers (L,1-1)0222000 3.86
Mike Timlin 1100110 0.95
IBB - Hatteberg by Mike Timlin
HBP - Thomas (by Bronson Arroyo), Durazo (by Bronson Arroyo)
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 104-69, Mike Myers 7-5, Mike Timlin 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 7-9, Mike Timlin 2-0
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 29, Mike Myers 2, Mike Timlin 5
Oakland Athletics
Mark Kotsay, CF3113100 .289
Jason Kendall, C4001001 .218
Eric Chavez, 3B4130010 .205
Erubiel Durazo, DH3110001 .248
Keith Ginter, 2B3000003 .172
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3120100 .275
Matt Watson, LF4122011 .222
Marco Scutaro, SS4000014 .237
Charles Thomas, RF3100022 .103
Totals316962512 
Batting
2B - Eric Chavez (6, Arroyo), Matt Watson (1, Arroyo)
3B - Mark Kotsay (1, Arroyo)
SH - Keith Ginter (1)
RBI - Mark Kotsay 3 (18), Jason Kendall (14), Matt Watson 2 (2)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Scutaro-Ginter-Hatteberg
E - Octavio Dotel (1, missed catch), Jason Kendall (2, )
Oakland Athletics
Kirk Saarloos 6722140 4.79
Keiichi Yabu (BS,1; W,3-0) 2422340 3.20
Octavio Dotel (S,7) 1100010 3.52
IBB - Nixon by Keiichi Yabu
HBP - Mueller (by Kirk Saarloos)
WP - Octavio Dotel (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kirk Saarloos 110-65, Keiichi Yabu 42-22, Octavio Dotel 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kirk Saarloos 10-3, Keiichi Yabu 2-0, Octavio Dotel 1-2
Batters Faced - Kirk Saarloos 26, Keiichi Yabu 13, Octavio Dotel 5
Game Information
Attendance - 30281
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Ed Montague, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Paul Emmel