The Red Sox suffered another bad defeat Saturday-though not so bad as the one they suffered Friday-falling 7-1 to the Oakland Athletics.
Much of the damage came in the first three innings against Felix Doubront, who's really just trying to stay afloat at this point in the season. It's been months since he's been right, and Saturday offered no change. A leadoff home run from Coco Crisp would be the warning shot in the first, and while Doubront managed to recover by striking out the side around a walk and an error in the second, things fell apart entirely in the third.
Doubront would actually almost manage to escape the inning without damage, with Scott Podsednik helping him out by catching Coco Crisp trying to score on a Jonny Gomes double. That would provide Doubront one out, and a strike out of Josh Reddick gave him his second, but Yoenis Cespedes did not go down so easily, slapping a single into left field to make it 2-0. A walk to Chris Carpenter put two on for Brandon Inge, who hit a long fly ball to right field. While Cody Ross seemed to be moving fast enough to catch up to it, the ball clanked off his glove as he attempted the running over-the-shoulder catch, and two more runs came in to score. Only after a Derrik Norris single made it 5-0 did the Sox get out of the inning.
Alfredo Aceves would enter the came and stir up some drama in the fourth, as numerous unexpected pickoff plays at second had Dustin Pedroia diving to try and keep the ball from the outfield. That was not all, as Aceves and Jarrod Saltalamacchia nearly collided going for the same foul ball, and the reliever even managed to get in a shouting match with an umpire over the state of a ball that had rolled all the way back to Aceves from the backstop. Cameras caught Aceves and Pedroia arguing in the dugout afterwards, being separated by Jerry Royster and Bobby Valentine, the latter of whom was essentially dismissed by Aceves.
Meanwhile, all was right in the world for A.J. Griffin, who had enjoyed four perfect innings and was working on the fifth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped to the plate. With the shift on, Salty took the controversial step of bunting down the third base line for a single, earning boos from the crowd. He would not score, however, leaving Griffin's shutout intact.
The Sox would manage to score in the next inning, but it would come only thanks to a perhaps sympathetic home plate umpire, who called Pedro Ciriaco safe on a play at the plate when he seems to have been out. Still, it was just the one run, and the Athletics quickly responded with one off of Aceves, and another on a solo shot courtesy of Daniel Bard. The Sox mounted no further rallies, and fell 7-1.