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Jed Lowrie's two-run triple highlighted a three-run fourth inning that helped Daisuke Matsuzaka to his 12th win and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep with a 5-2 win over the struggling Oakland Athletics yesterday.
Jason Bay continued his strong start with the Red Sox since being acquired in a three-team, last-minute trade deadline deal for Manny Ramirez on Thursday, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and two runs scored. He also threw out a runner trying to stretch a single.
Boston improved to 40-16 at Fenway Park after losing five of the initial six games in a nine-game homestand. The Red Sox, just 24-32 away from home, play their next seven games on the road, beginning tonight in Kansas City.
Daric Barton hit a two-run homer for the Athletics, who lost their sixth straight and 15th in 17 games.
Matsuzaka (12-2), allowed two runs, four hits, walked two and struck out eight in six innings.
Jonathan Papelbon, the third reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 31st save. Boston's bullpen held the A's to one single over the final three innings.
The Red Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead five pitches into the game when Dustin Pedroia doubled off the Green Monster and scored on Kevin Youkilis' single.
Boston increased it to 4-0 and chased starter Dallas Braden (2-2) in the fourth. Lowrie, the final batter Braden faced, hit a line drive over center fielder Carlos Gonzalez after Mike Lowell doubled and Bay singled. Gonzalez, playing shallow, had the ball go over his head as he broke back. Coco Crisp added a sacrifice fly.
Barton's homer cut it to 4-2 in the fifth.
Crisp's sacrifice fly made it 5-2 in the sixth.
Matsuzaka worked out of a tough spot in the second, allowing Gonzalez's leadoff triple before striking out Jack Hannahan and Bobby Crosby and getting Barton to fly out.
There was a lighter moment in the fifth when lumbering DH David Ortiz walked and took off for second on the next pitch, not drawing a throw on his first stolen base of the season that amused the crowd as catcher Rob Bowen bobbled the ball.
This program aired on August 4, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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