What seemed like another frustrating defeat turned into a thrilling comeback victory as the Oakland A's scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2.
Coco Crisp's sacrifice fly capped a rally started by Chris Carter's single off of Boston closer Alfredo Aceves and was aided by an error by center fielder Ryan Kalish on the tying RBI single from pinch hitter Brandon Moss. The win was the A's sixth walk-off victory on the 2012 season.
Bartolo Colon returned from the disabled list and was good, throwing six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. It appeared as though he would be outdueled by Boston's Jon Lester, who was great, allowing only a single run while striking out nine in 6.2 innings.
Crisp put the A's on the board in the bottom of the first with a leadoff home run, but Lester shut the A's offense down from there.
Boston took the lead with runs in the second and fourth innings on a home run by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and an error by Carter at first base.
Oakland had a golden opportunity in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out. But Boston's Vicente Padilla struck out both Yoenis Cespedes and Jonny Gomes on high fastballs to end the threat.
The Red Sox then had a chance to extend the lead in the top of the ninth after a single and a walk to start the inning. However, Nick Punto popped a bunt into a double play as Boston's Mike Aviles was doubled off at first base. Kalish was then thrown out at third to end the inning and set the stage for the A's rally in the bottom of the inning.
Good: Coco Crisp. Many players contributed, but Crisp came through with a runner on third and less than two outs to win the game. It was fitting because he started the A's off right with his leadoff home run. Quietly, Crisp has been swinging a better bat, raising his average slowly back to a respectable number (currently .223).
Bad: Yoenis Cespedes. Not his best day (or night) going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The whiff in the eighth seemed huge at the time as the A's again could not get a runner home with less than two outs. It may not have cost them today, but the odds are, it will going forward. The Cuban Missile still has a lot of developing to do.
Ugly: N/A. No sense in choosing someone for this distinction coming off such a big win. The team made the plays in the ninth when they needed to and for once, another team can scratch their head and wonder how they lost a game they had won.
Having won three straight games, the A's go for the sweep on the 4th of July with a matinee at the Coliseum. Rookie A.J. Griffin will try to continue his success as he faces Boston's Aaron Cook. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m.
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