A's Split Two Game Series With Red Sox At Coliseum

The Oakland A's face the Boston Red Sox in a brief two-game set before heading on the road. We provide news, updates and recaps for the series. For more on the A's, check out Athletics Nation.

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Athletics vs. Red Sox, Series Recap: A's Cannot Elude .500 Mark

Like some kind of magnet, the first three weeks of the Oakland Athletics 2011 season has kept them bouncing around the .500 mark. The A’s came into their two game series with the Boston Red Sox at 8-8 and left the series at 9-9. Oakland remains a wildly inconsistent team on offense and it is keeping them from putting it all together. Their starting pitching is as good as anybody in the league, but they have such a small margin for error that an average night often will not be enough to get a win.

Gio Gonzalez struggled Wednesday afternoon, but the A’s were unable to take advantage of a variety of opportunities to help him out. Brett Anderson was dominant on Tuesday night, but until an eighth inning offensive burst it was pins and needles for the A’s. If they don’t get some consistent offense it seems like they’ll always be a step behind in the division.

A’s Pitcher of the Series: Brett Anderson – There’s no doubt that Anderson gets this award after his gem Tuesday night. Although he couldn’t finish off the complete game shutout, Anderson was absolutely dominant through seven innings. Even though he got into some trouble in the eighth inning, he was able to gut it out and get away unscathed. While the A’s are getting quality starting pitching across the board, Anderson has been consistently the best thus far.

A’s Hitter of the Series: Hideki Matsui – The A’s offense had a lot of bad moments in this series, but when things were going well, Hideki Matsui was able to get involved. He was 1 for 4 with two RBIs on Tuesday and 2 for 4 with a run scored on Wednesday. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but the A’s offense struggled enough that it was better than nothing. The A’s had several chances to make some noise on Wednesday, but they just could not get that timely hit. However, if Godzilla is starting to heat up it could be an excellent sign moving forward.

Upcoming Schedule: The A’s head on the road for a fairly important stretch of games, facing the Mariners four times followed by the Angels three times. Division races aren’t decided in April, but a strong showing on this road trip would go a long way towards giving the A’s the confidence to stick around the AL West playoff race in September. This first Mariners series will feature Tyson Ross making his first start of the season in place of Dallas Braden.

Series Results
Thursday: A’s 5 – Red Sox 0
WP: Brett Anderson (1-0)
LP: John Lackey (1-2)

Friday: Red Sox 5 – A’s 3
WP: Clay Buchholz (1-2)
LP: Gio Gonzalez (2-1)
Sv: Jonathan Papelbon (3)

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Gio Gonzalez And The Athletics Drop Game To Red Sox Despite Coco Crisp Home Run

Gio Gonzalez, the surprising stud pitcher for the Oakland Athletics this season, went into Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Boston Red Sox with an MLB-leading 0.47 ERA. Six innings and one loss later, however, Gonzalez has a 1.80 ERA two homers in the A’s 5-3 loss in the rain.

Coco Crisp gave the A’s a one-run lead when he hit a pitch from Red Sox pitcher Clay Bucholz over the right field fence in the bottom of the first inning — his first of the season — but Boston answered by scoring five unanswered runs over the next six innings, four of them being charged to Gonzalez.

While Gonzalez’s outing wasn’t what the Oakland faithful had come to expect from him this season (despite striking out nine batters), the biggest problem for the Athletics was probably the fact that they left 15 runners on base and hit just 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

While the A’s are still a respectable 9-9, it marked just the first victory for the Red Sox away from Fenway to split the series.

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Athletics vs. Red Sox: Brett Anderson, Late Offensive Burst Key A's 5-0 Victory

The Oakland Athletics finally managed to climb over the .500 mark on Tuesday, defeating the Boston Red Sox 5-0 for their third straight win. Brett Anderson spun a one-hit shutout into the eighth inning as he notched his first win of the season and lowered his ERA to 1.63. He gave up three singles in the eighth, but a strike out- catcher interference double play and a key two out K were got him through the inning. The A’s bullpen locked things up in the ninth improving the A’s to 9-8.

The game was a tight battle for the first seven and a half innings as the A’s could only muster one run against a struggling John Lackey. Lackey struggled with his control and pitch count, but the A’s could not land the big blow through the first seven innings. While Lackey struggled, Anderson was dealing. After giving up a two-out single to Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning, Anderson set down 16 of the next 18 hitters, working around a walk and his own error over the course of those hitters.

In the bottom of the eighth, the A’s offense finally woke up. After Pennington doubled to center and stole third, Daric Barton notched a one-out RBI single. Josh Willingham worked a walk with two outs and Hideki Matsui followed that with an RBI double. Kurt Suzuki then singled to score pinch-runner Ryan Sweeney and the deficit was complete.

The A’s and Red Sox wrap up the short series Wednesday in a lunch time battle at 12:35pm on CSN California. Gio Gonzalez and his MLB-leading 0.47 ERA take on Clay Buchholz.

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