Big Papi’s homer lifts Sox in 10thBy ERIC GILMORE
The Sports Xchange
June 22. 2014 9:57PM
OAKLAND, Calif. — Designated hitter David Ortiz launched a tie-breaking, solo home run off left-hander Fernando Abad leading off the top of the 10th inning Sunday and lifted the Boston Red Sox to a 7-6 victory over the Oakland A’s at the O.co Coliseum.
Catcher David Ross and first baseman Mike Napoli also hit solo home runs for the Red Sox, and left-hander Jon Lester had another solid start.
The Red Sox snapped their three-game losing streak and avoided being swept as they won the finale of the four-game series. Oakland’s five-game winning streak came to an end.
The A’s scored three times in the bottom of the eighth, rallying after two outs to cut Boston’s lead to 6-4. Lester hit outfielder Craig Gentry with a pitch and walked Jed Lowrie. Then reliever Burke Badenhop gave up consecutive RBI singles to Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson and Derek Norris.
Center fielder Coco Crisp, pinch hitting, lined out to shortstop against left-hander Andrew Miller to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, A’s right fielder Stephen Vogt hit a one-out home run off closer Koji Uehara, cutting the lead to 6-5. Then with two outs catcher John Jaso, pinch hitting, launched a Uehara pitch into the right field seats as the A’s pulled even.
Lester (9-7) won his third straight start and for the fifth time in his past six starts. He allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits over 7 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.
Lester beat the A’s and Milone for the second time this season. On May 3 at Fenway Park, Lester pitched eight shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out a career high 15 in a 6-3 victory against Oakland.
Milone gave up five runs on eight hits over five innings Sunday as his career-high tying five-game winning streak came to an end. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two home runs.
Boston scored more than three runs in a game for the first time since beating Cleveland 10-2 on June 13.
The Red Sox scored twice in the first inning, grabbing their first lead of the series. Right fielder Brock Holt lined a leadoff single to right and moved to second on second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s one-out single.
Napoli walked with two outs, loading the bases and bringing left fielder Jonny Gomes to the plate. Gomes fell behind 1-2 but worked a full count and drilled a Milone fastball to center field for a two-run single.
Ross hit a leadoff home run to left-center in the top of the second, extending Boston’s lead to 3-1. Ross’ home run was his third blast of the season and second off of Milone this year. Ross, Gomes and Ortiz each homered off Milone on May 3.
The A’s cut Boston’s lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the second. Norris reached base on third baseman Xander Bogaerts’ throwing error and advanced to second on first baseman Kyle Blanks’ single. Third baseman Alberto Callaspo doubled to the base of the left field fence, driving in Norris and moving Blanks to third.
Red Sox shortstop Jonathan Herrera threw out Blanks at the plate after fielding Vogt’s ground ball. Lester struck out second baseman Nick Punto to end the inning.
Boston added a run in the third, increasing its lead to 4-1. The Red Sox had runners on first and third with two outs when Milone appeared to pick off Herrera at first base. Herrera took off, and when first baseman Brandon Moss threw to Punto, Napoli broke for home. Punto threw high to Norris. Napoli slid safely under his lunging tag attempt.
Napoli belted his eighth home run of the season in the fifth, a solo shot with two outs, making it 5-1. The Red Sox added a run in the eighth when Herrera tripled and Gomes hit an RBI single.
NOTES: Oakland C Derek Norris (left forearm contusion) returned to the starting lineup Sunday after missing Saturday’s game. He was hit by a foul ball on Friday night against the Red Sox.
... It was Coco Crisp Garden Gnome bobblehead giveaway day at the Coliseum, but Crisp did not start. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Crisp has been sick. He also has been dealing with a sore neck. “I’m sure I’m very popular on Coco Gnome Day that he’s not playing,” Melvin said.
... The Red Sox have yet to name a starting pitcher for their game Wednesday at Seattle, but manager John Farrell said RHP Clay Buchholz is “a candidate” to be activated from the disabled list and start that game. “I’m ready to go,” Buchholz said. “I feel good.”
... Melvin has shuffled his pitching rotation, moving RHP Sonny Gray from Tuesday against to Saturday against Miami. “Just giving Sonny a little bit of a break,” Melvin said. LHP Scott Kazmir will pitch on Tuesday, LHP Brad Mills on Wednesday against the Mets and RHP Jesse Chavez on Friday against Miami.