Oakland A's Rally Again to Finish Sweep of Boston Red Sox 3-2
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Coming through in the clutch, suddenly the Oakland A's are surging again.
Jemile Weeks hit a single past a drawn-in infield in the seventh inning, and the A's defeated Boston 3-2 to sweep the Red Sox for the first time since May 2008. Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless seventh inning to get the win in relief, and Ryan Cook pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.
Once again, A.J. Griffin was rock solid but did not factor in the decision.
Griffin went six solid innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on just three hits and two walks, while striking out three. His only mistake of the game was a historic home run allowed to Boston DH David Ortiz in the fourth inning. The solo home run tied the score 1-1 and was Ortiz's 400th in his career—he became just the 49th player in history to do so.
Boston's Aaron Cook was also solid, scattering nine hits in six innings and wriggling out of jams to allow just one run. That run came off of Brandon Moss, who scorched his 10th home run to dead center giving the A's an early 1-0 lead. Moss would go 3-for-4, winding up only a triple short of a cycle.
Down 2-1 in the sixth, Oakland's offense got a gift as Moss' apparent pop fly was lost in the sun by Ryan Kalish, dropping for a gift double. To the A's credit, they took advantage as Brandon Inge hit an opposite-field double to tie the game at 2-2.
Coco Crisp just missed a home run to lead off the seventh inning, winding up at third with his second triple of the year. Weeks then knocked him in for the game's winning run.
Good: Brandon Moss
There was a little bit of luck involved, but the fact is Moss went 3-for-4 with his 10th home run in 24 games with the A's (77 total at-bats).
His batting average is now .282 on the year, and along with an improved Chris Carter, the A's have a legitimate power threat at first base for the first time in years.
Who has been the best call-up for the A's in 2012?
Bad: Seth Smith
I thought about omitting this altogether, but Smith is scuffling after being white-hot in late May and through much of June.
Going 0-for-4 with a strikeout is not a crime, but two of those at-bats were with runners in scoring position, and he did not deliver. It is endemic of a bigger issue with the team, but hopefully Smith can produce as a DH since the A's most likely will have Crisp, Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes out in the field consistently.
How can there possibly be anything ugly about a sweep of the Boston Red Sox? I didn't think so, either.
Having won four straight, the A's are now 41-42 and will have a day off before starting a three-game series against Seattle. Tom Milone will face off against Seattle's Kevin Millwood.
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