|Boston (64-48) «||1||0||0||3||0||1||0||0||x||5||8||0|
BOSTON -- A rejuvenated outlook and a weaker opponent were the perfect weekend mix for the Boston Red Sox.
Jed Lowrie's two-run triple highlighted a three-run fourth inning that helped Daisuke Matsuzaka to his 12th win and the Red Sox completed a three-game sweep with a 5-2 victory against the struggling Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
Since the Red Sox completed a three-team, last-minute trade deadline deal that sent disgruntled outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and brought Jason Bay from Pittsburgh on Thursday, the club has talked about a fresh approach in the clubhouse, emphasizing a relaxed attitude.
"We wanted to set a tone coming into the new month and I think we did that," Lowrie said. "The team's been revived. I don't think it was a matter of anyone coming or anyone going."
Bay continued his strong start with the Red Sox, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and two runs scored. He also threw out a runner trying to stretch a single.
"He's done a great job, playing great defense and getting on base," Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis said. "That's why they brought him here. They thought he could come out and help this team win, and that's what he's doing."
Coincidence or not, Ramirez's departure has coincided with some victories.
"One of the things we talked about was not looking back or looking forward, just attacking what's at hand," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of a team meeting held Friday. "We did that very well."
Boston improved to 40-16 at Fenway Park after losing five of the initial six games in a nine-game homestand. The Red Sox, only 24-32 away from home, will play their next seven games on the road, beginning Monday night in Kansas City.
"I think where we're at right now, we can be pretty darn good," Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said.
Daric Barton hit a two-run homer for the Athletics, who lost their sixth straight and 15th in 17 games.
"You look, bad series, going 0-3," A's manager Bob Geren said. "But we did get a few home runs here, which we've been lacking."
Oakland's five runs in the series came on three home runs.
Matsuzaka (12-2), allowed two runs, four hits, walked two and struck out eight in six innings.
Jonathan Papelbon, the third reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 31st save. Boston's bullpen held the A's to one single over the final three innings.
The Red Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead five pitches into the game when Dustin Pedroia doubled off the Green Monster and scored on Youkilis' single.
Boston increased it to 4-0 and chased starter Dallas Braden (2-2) in the fourth. Lowrie, the final batter Braden faced, hit a line drive over center fielder Carlos Gonzalez after Mike Lowell doubled and Bay singled. Gonzalez, playing shallow, saw the ball go over his head as he broke back. Coco Crisp added a sacrifice fly.
"I don't think they'll play shallow anymore," Lowrie joked.
Barton's homer cut it to 4-2 in the fifth.
Crisp's sacrifice fly made it 5-2 in the sixth.
"He threw a 100 pitches in the first (few) innings," Barton said. "We had a lot of guys on base, but just didn't capitalize on it."
There was a lighter moment in the fifth when lumbering DH David Ortiz walked and took off for second on the next pitch, not drawing a throw on his first stolen base of the season that amused the crowd as catcher Rob Bowen bobbled the ball.
|Players of the Game|
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|Ryan Sweeney, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.293|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.235|
|Jack Cust, LF||2||0||1||0||2||1||0||.228|
|Frank Thomas, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.253|
|Carlos Gonzalez, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.265|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.236|
|Bobby Crosby, SS||1||1||0||0||2||1||1||.247|
|Gregorio Petit, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.348|
|a- Emil Brown, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Daric Barton, 1B||4||1||1||2||0||1||2||.218|
|Rob Bowen, C||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.185|
|b- Kurt Suzuki, PH-C||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.296|
|a-grounded out for Petit in the 9th|
|b-singled for Bowen in the 7th|
|3B - Carlos Gonzalez (1, Matsuzaka)|
|HR - Daric Barton (4, Matsuzaka)|
|RBI - Daric Barton 2 (27)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|PB - Rob Bowen (2)|
|E - Mark Ellis (3, Throwing)|
|Dallas Braden (L,2-2)||3.1||6||4||4||0||1||0||5.10|
|IBB - Ortiz by Huston Street|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Braden 61-39, Santiago Casilla 31-17, Joey Devine 8-3, Alan Embree 15-10, Huston Street 17-9, Dan Meyer 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Braden 4-4, Santiago Casilla 1-3, Dan Meyer 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Dallas Braden 15, Santiago Casilla 7, Joey Devine 2, Alan Embree 3, Huston Street 5, Dan Meyer 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.313|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.315|
|David Ortiz, DH||2||0||0||0||2||1||2||.259|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||2||4||.280|
|Jason Bay, LF||4||2||2||0||0||0||3||.285|
|Jed Lowrie, SS||3||1||1||2||1||0||0||.295|
|Jason Varitek, C||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.218|
|Coco Crisp, CF||2||0||0||2||0||0||0||.250|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, RF||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.259|
|2B - Dustin Pedroia (33, Braden), Kevin Youkilis (27, Street), Mike Lowell (25, Braden)|
|3B - Jed Lowrie (1, Braden)|
|SF - Coco Crisp 2 (4)|
|RBI - Kevin Youkilis (75), Jed Lowrie 2 (18), Coco Crisp 2 (28)|
|SB - David Ortiz (1, 2nd base off Casilla/Bowen)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Jason Bay 1|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Daisuke Matsuzaka (W,12-2)||6||4||2||2||2||8||1||3.04|
|Hideki Okajima (H,19)||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||2.66|
|Manny Delcarmen (H,15)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||4.05|
|Jonathan Papelbon (S,31)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.05|
|Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 105-68, Hideki Okajima 17-11, Manny Delcarmen 16-9, Jonathan Papelbon 11-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 2-7, Manny Delcarmen 1-2, Jonathan Papelbon 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 23, Hideki Okajima 5, Manny Delcarmen 4, Jonathan Papelbon 3|
|Attendance - 37317|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Todd Tichenor|