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Red Sox defeat A's in Game 1 of rain-soaked DH

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- The rain is the only thing that halted another strong daytime start for Jon Lester.

Jason Varitek homered and drove in three runs to back Lester's solid start, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 9-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday in the opener of a rain-soaked split-doubleheader.

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Two delays totaling 3 hours slowed a game moved up to noon to make room for the nightcap that was rescheduled from Sunday to avoid Hurricane Irene's effects. Fans with tickets for the 5:05 p.m. start were allowed through the turnstiles during the 2-hour, 15-minute delay in the eighth inning of Game 1. The game ended at 6:08 p.m.

It also ended Lester's start after six innings. He allowed only two runs, one of them earned, walked two and fanned four, improving to 7-0 with a 1.54 ERA in nine afternoon starts.

Lester (14-6) held down an Oakland lineup that had averaged nine runs in its previous four games.

"His cutter's been tremendous," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Once it rained, he was through."

Lester started under bright skies but heavy rain fell on and off during the middle innings before play was halted the first time as he was ready to take the mound in the seventh. He didn't come back when the game resumed after the first delay of 45 minutes.

"The conditions were really bad. The mound wasn't bad, but anytime you took the ball out of your glove it was wet," he said. "I had no grip. I was trying to tell the umpires that. Maybe the second time it went to the backstop made them realize it wasn't safe."

David Ortiz added a pair of doubles and drove in two runs and Mike Aviles collected three singles for Boston, which won for the seventh time in 10 games to improve its AL East lead to 1½ games over second-place New York.

Brandon Allen hit a solo homer for Athletics. Oakland lost for just the fourth time in 11 games one day after scoring a season-high 15 runs to win the series opener.

Michael Bowden pitched the final two innings.

The second delay came after Varitek bounced weakly to the mound, ending the seventh.

Crew chief Tim McClelland told a pool reporter between games that the first game had to end before the second could be started. No way to call it early and then finish the doubleheader.

"Yes. That's what Joe [Torre] told me," McClelland said.

Torre is the executive vice president of baseball operations.

"Actually there were no options. We were just waiting to get started again," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Both teams have to deal with it. It's not ideal but both teams have to deal with it. So you just play."

Francona said the umpires consulted with MLB regarding the decision to finish the first game before starting the second.

"To play the second game, we've got to play the first one," he said. "I know MLB ruled on it. We've done it the other way a couple of years ago against Minnesota."

In April 2009, Boston led 10-1 against the Twins when the game was halted by rain after seven innings so the teams could get ready for the second game of a split doubleheader.

"That was an aberration," McClelland said. "I talked to Joe. According to the rules, that can't happen or shouldn't happen. They didn't want that. They wanted this game to finish."

The Red Sox scored three runs in each of the second and third innings against Guillermo Moscoso (6-8) to open a 7-2 lead. After Moscoso retired the first two batters in the second, Josh Reddick walked before Varitek homered into Boston's bullpen. Jacoby Ellsbury added an RBI double.

Moscoso gave up eight runs -- seven earned -- nine hits and walked a pair without striking out anyone. It was just the second time in his last six starts he's allowed more than two runs.

Boston moved ahead 1-0 in the first on Dustin Pedroia's RBI single, but Allen homered into second row of seats above the Green Monster to tie it in the second.

Notes

  • Adrian Gonzalez's third-inning double gave him a career-high 183 hits.
  • Francona said that RHP Clay Buchholz, a key part of the rotation who has been on the DL since June 17 with a strained lower back, will be re-examined in "the next couple of days. But even if the examination is good, he's not allowed to throw until (Sept. 1)."
  • Red Sox LF Carl Crawford was back in the lineup after being rested Friday. ... Oakland stole its first three bases (two by Jemile Weeks, one by Clif Pennington) without even a throw by catcher Varitek.
  • The A's recalled Graham Godfrey (1-1) from Triple-A Sacramento in between games to start the nightcap. Boston planned on lefty Erik Bedard (4-9), who is 0-2 since being acquired from Seattle on July 31.
  • Cleaning crews were working in the stands during the second delay, trying to get the seats ready for the second game.
 
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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Jason Varitek watches his two-run homer off A's starter Guillermo Moscoso clear the fence in the second inning. (Getty Images)
Jason Varitek watches his two-run homer off A's starter Guillermo Moscoso clear the fence in the second inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Varitek
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jemile Weeks, 2B4110112 .294
Cliff Pennington, SS4021101 .267
Coco Crisp, CF4011004 .270
Josh Willingham, DH4010003 .251
Brandon Allen, 1B4111022 .284
Conor Jackson, LF4000001 .252
Kurt Suzuki, C4110010 .236
Ryan Sweeney, RF4000001 .276
Scott Sizemore, 3B3010110 .250
Totals3538335  
Batting
2B - Kurt Suzuki (22, Bowden)
HR - Brandon Allen (6, Lester)
SF - Coco Crisp (4)
RBI - Cliff Pennington (45), Coco Crisp (44), Brandon Allen (14)
2-OUT RBI - Cliff Pennington (18)
SB - Jemile Weeks 3 (19, 2nd base off Lester/Varitek, 3rd base off Lester/Varitek, 2nd base off Lester/Varitek), Cliff Pennington (9, 2nd base off Lester/Varitek)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Weeks-Pennington-Allen
E - Cliff Pennington (18, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Guillermo Moscoso (L,6-8) 4987201 3.80
Craig Breslow 1311100 4.24
Jerry Blevins 2100010 3.80
Fautino De Los Santos 1000010 3.28
Pitches-Strikes - Guillermo Moscoso 93-59, Craig Breslow 30-19, Jerry Blevins 26-17, Fautino De Los Santos 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Guillermo Moscoso 3-8, Craig Breslow 1-2, Jerry Blevins 3-1, Fautino De Los Santos 2-0
Batters Faced - Guillermo Moscoso 22, Craig Breslow 7, Jerry Blevins 6, Fautino De Los Santos 3
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4011101 .313
Marco Scutaro, SS5121004 .272
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4120002 .348
Dustin Pedroia, 2B3111102 .306
David Ortiz, DH4222001 .307
Carl Crawford, LF3001011 .253
Josh Reddick, RF3100101 .287
Jason Varitek, C4123000 .234
Mike Aviles, 3B4230010 .244
Totals34913932  
Batting
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (33, Moscoso), Marco Scutaro (13, Moscoso), Adrian Gonzalez (39, Moscoso), David Ortiz 2 (34, Moscoso, Breslow)
HR - Jason Varitek (9, Moscoso)
SF - Carl Crawford (4)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (82), Marco Scutaro (32), Dustin Pedroia (71), David Ortiz 2 (84), Carl Crawford (47), Jason Varitek 3 (29)
2-OUT RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (30), Dustin Pedroia (23), Jason Varitek 3 (11)
SB - Mike Aviles (14, 2nd base off Moscoso/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Marco Scutaro (10, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (W,14-6) 6321241 3.09
Dan Wheeler 1100000 3.80
Michael Bowden 2411110 2.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 87-53, Dan Wheeler 12-9, Michael Bowden 42-28
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 8-7, Dan Wheeler 1-2, Michael Bowden 1-4
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 24, Dan Wheeler 4, Michael Bowden 11
Game Information
Attendance - 37314
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Chris Conroy, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Brian Runge