The Boston Red Sox squandered an exceptional pitching performance and, despite benefiting favorably from an umpiring error, fell to the Oakland Athletics 2-1 in 10 innings today at O.co Coliseum.
After their third straight loss to the A’s, the Red Sox are at 34-41 on the season, 7.5 games behind the American League East division leading Toronto Blue Jays, and six games – and seven teams – out of a Wild Card spot.
Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 2.51) pitched seven strong innings, yielding four hits, a walk and an earned run against seven strikeouts. He threw 100 pitches, 58 for strikes.
In the bottom of the third inning, Oakland’s Stephen Vogt lined a 2-1 changeup to deep center for a triple. Alberto Callaspo hit the next pitch from De La Rosa, a 96 m.p.h. fastball, to short right field. Brock Holt made a diving catch, but Vogt raced home ahead of his throw for the first run of the game.
Meanwhile, Oakland’s Jesse Chavez (5-4, 2.90) kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard for seven innings, allowing Boston just three hits and four walks. He struck out four.
In the eighth inning Chavez yielded to Luke Gregerson. After Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out, Holt singled to right but was forced out at second on a Dustin Pedroia grounder to shortstop. Pedroia went to third on a soft single to center field by David Ortiz.
The next batter, Mike Napoli, fouled a 1-2 slider that Vogt caught, but home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott ruled hit the ground. A’s manager argued the call, which was not reviewable under MLB challenge rules. The four umpires consulted but Wolcott’s call stood. Instead of a third out, Napoli and the Red Sox were given new life.
Gregerson’s next pitch was in the dirt and bounced out of Vogt’s control allowing Pedroia to score to score from third. Napoli ultimately flied out to right field but not before the score was tied.
Melvin continued to argue and was ejected by Wolcott in the middle of the inning.
Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa held the A’s scoreless for two innings. Edward Mujica walked Callaspo, the first batter he faced, in the tenth inning. Nick Punto sacrificed Callaspo to second and Boston manager John Farrell replaced Mujica with closer Koji Uehara.
Coco Crisp hit Uehara’s first pitch into right field and Callaspo beat Holt’s throw home, giving the A’s a walk-off victory. Dan Otero (6-1) earned the win in relief. Sean Doolittle also pitched a scoreless inning for the A’s.
It was the fifth straight win for Oakland (47-28), which holds a 6.5-game lead in the American League West.
Holt had three of Boston’s seven hits. The Red Sox’ offensive woes continued with another anemic output. They were 0-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.