The Oakland Athletics prevailed over the struggling Red Sox 6-2 on Sunday, ending the season series with the highest winning percentage against Boston in Franchise history. The 8-1 record surpasses the previous mark of 18-3 during the 1928 season.
Leading the streaking A’s to their ninth straight victory was pitcher Brett Anderson (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 SO). Since returning to the rotation after a 14 month recovery from Tommy John Surgery, Anderson is 3-0 allowing only two earned runs in twenty innings pitched. Anderson had compiled 18 consecutive scoreless innings before Cody Ross’ sixth inning RBI single plated Pedro Ciriaco.
“To give us three games with that kind of performance, with the magnitude of the games… is all really impressive,” said Bob Melvin.
The victory puts the Athletics at 19 games over .500, the highest they have been since the ALCS team of 2006 finished the season 24 games over. The red hot A’s are a MLB best 39-15 since the start of July.
The Oakland offense wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as Seth Smith launched a two run home run to right field in the first inning. Stephen Drew followed with his first home run as an Athletic, blasting a solo shot in the second inning. After adding two more runs in the third, Oakland knocked Boston starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka out of the game in the fourth on a Yoenis Cespedes RBI groundout.
The common theme of the three game sweep for the A’s was to get into the Boston bullpen early and often. No Red Sox starting pitcher in the series pitched more than three and two thirds innings. The combined line for Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront, and Matsuzaka (9 1/3 IP, 17R, 20H, 6BB).
Drew was a triple away from the cycle, and his three hit game raised his batting average 51 points from .211 to .262. “This was a key day for him. Today is one of those days where the white shoes look a little shinier,” said Melvin commenting on Drew, “You just feel like you’re much more part of the team.”
The A’s played in front of a crowd of 25, 314. Escalating the attendance was a pink A’s umbrella give away, and Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The Oakland Athletics raised $53,000 with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Next up for the Oakland Athletics will be a three game home series welcoming the division rival Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The A’s will look to continue to build momentum towards the playoffs with 29 games left on the season.