Oakland right-hander A.J. Griffin shut down baseballs most powerful offense as the A's blanked the Red Sox 3-0 Saturday night at O.co Coliseum.
The Boston bats just couldn't get anything going against Griffin. The Red Sox had only seven hits and were 0-5 with runners in scoring position. Shane Victorino and Mile Napoli each had two hits in the loss.
The loss snapped the Red Sox four-game winning streak. Boston is 5-4 on the 10-game road trip.
Sox starter Jon Lester matched Griffin pitch for pitch until the bottom of the fifth inning when catcher Derek Norris hammered a two-out, 0-2 pitch to left to make it 1-0.
The A's made it 2-0 an inning later when former Red Sox Jed Lowrie walked with one out and later scored on singles by Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes.
Lester left with one out in the seventh and two more former Red Sox players came back to haunt Boston as Coco Crisp singled off Junichi Tazawa scoring Josh Reddick.
Lester didn't pitch bad, but wasn't good enough for the win. Lester went 6 1/3 with three runs, six hits, three walks and four strike outs dropping his record to 8-6.
After the game Lester said, "Sometimes you just have to tip your hat when the guy on the other side pitches better than you."
Griffin did just that with eight strong innings of work and was never in trouble. Grant Balfour picked up his 25th save. The save was Balfour's 43rd straight.
Boston is now 58-38, 3.5 games up on the Rays in the AL East.
It's the Sox and the A's Sunday afternoon as the first half of the season comes to a close before the All-Star break. Brandon Workman makes his first major league start against yet another former Sox, Bartolo Colon. First pitch is at 4:05.