Athletics - 000 300 110 - 5 9 0 Red Sox - 000 330 00x - 6 10 0Stephen Drew's two-run triple tied the game in the fourth, and the Red Sox batted around in the fifth, scoring three more times. That lead was whittled down to 6-5, but Andrew Bailey struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the victory. Boston is 14-7.
Bailey and the Red Sox may have received a little help in the ninth from the "human element". With two outs, Jed Lowrie smoked a 2-2 pitch down the right field line. It appeared to hit some chalk, but was called a foul ball by umpire Greg Gibson. Two pitches later, Lowrie fanned to end the game.
Earlier in the game, the umpires were not on Boston's side. Lester (5.2-6-3-6-5, 115) got squeezed so much in his innings - mostly on pitches in the lower portion of the strike zone - I could have sworn Mr. Whipple was behind the plate. (Actually, it was Jerry Layne and Mike Estabrook; Layne left the game in the top of the fourth after being hit on the left hand with a foul ball. Maybe that's what you get for disregarding the rule book and making up your own zone.)
Lester hung a curve to Chris Young in the fourth and Young blasted it over the Wall for a three-run dong. Boston came right back to tie the game in their half. With one out, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back doubles (3-1). Jonny Gomes walked and was forced at second by Will Middlebrooks, and Drew tripled into the right field corner (3-3).
In the fifth, Jacoby Ellsbury singled and stole his MLB-leading 10th base of the year. Shane Victorino doubled him home (4-3). Pedroia singled and Ortiz singled (5-3). After a pitching change, Napoli was plunked and pinch-hitter Daniel Nava singled FY home (6-3).
Oakland chipped away. Facing Junichi Tazawa with two outs in the seventh, Lowrie doubled to left-center and scored on Josh Donaldson's right-field single. Young led off the eighth against Koji Uehara with a solo shot, his second home run of the afternoon, but Uehara got the next three A's, on two strikeouts and a fly ball to center.
In the ninth, Bailey - working in his fourth game in the last five days - struck out John Jaso, Seth Smith, and Lowrie for the save.
Ortiz is 8-for-16 in four games. ... Napoli leads MLB with 26 RBI. ... Ellsbury is 10-for-10 in steals.
Brett Anderson / Jon Lester
Ellsbury, CFDaniel Bard is returning to the Red Sox. He will be recalled from Portland today, with Steven Wright going down to Pawtucket. Bard has pitched six scoreless innings in his last five appearances for the Sea Dogs, allowing five hits and three walks.