Four Real? Red Sox vs A's 7-12-13

Pete Lepak
RedSoxLife Staff Writ
Game 95: Lackey gets it done, Sox win 4-2

John Lackey went seven strong innings to carry the Red Sox over the A's on Friday night. Although he walked four, Lackey only gave up three hits, and his defense carried him in some tight situations. The win gives Boston a four and a half game lead in the AL East and guarantees that they will have the best record in the American League at the All Star break. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:

1) Wild Thing. In the top of the second inning, Oakland got a little sloppy, and their mistakes were cashed in by Red Sox hitters. Mike Napoli hit a chopper to third baseman Josh Donaldson, and instead of holding onto the ball, Donaldson bounced it past the first baseman to allow Napoli to advance to second. Daniel Nava was hit by a pitch and both he and Napoli advanced a base on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia fly out. With two outs, Brock Holt singled in both Napoli and Nava. Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes threw an errant throw to catcher John Jaso, who then threw the ball into center field and it allowed Holt to trot to third. An ugly looking inning for the A's, and Boston gets two runs out of the debacle. 2-0 Sox.

2) Give him the Gold Glove. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the A's have something going on with runners at the corners and one out in a 2-1 game. Josh Donaldson crushes a Lackey pitch towards second base, but Dustin Pedroia dives to his right and traps the ball, starting a double play that ends the inning. The ball could have easily gone into center field to tie the game, but Pedey is just that good. 2-1 Sox.

3) Former Sox cashes it in You don't hear much about former Red Sox second baseman Jed Lowrie, but he is having a very good career in Oakland. In the sixth inning, he takes a low Lackey curveball and drives in over the right field wall to tie the game at two.

4) He can do it all. In the top of the eighth inning, Sean Doolittle came on to pitch for Oakland. With Jose Iglesias on third and two outs, Shane Victorino is hit by a pitch. He then steals second to put two men into scoring position. On a 1-1 pitch from Dolittle, Dustin Pedroia pulls a ball to left field and singles to score both men and put the Sox up 4-2.

Boston would hold on to that lead with perfect innings by Andrew Bailey and Koji Uehara. Saturday night, Boston faces Oakland at 10:10pm EST. Jon Lester faces A.J. Griffin in game two of a three game series.

Of note: Boston scored all four of their runs with two outs.

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