The Sox are out to stave off the sweep behind the man who threw an 81-pitch two-hitter against the Mariners in his last outing: Aaron Cook.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in the Coliseum.
Athletics 3, Red Sox 2, End 8th -- Franklin Morales gets outs quickly enough in the eighth that he's allowed to finish the full frame. We're headed to the ninth with the Sox trailing by one.
Athletics 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 8th -- The Sox are down to their last three outs in Oakland after a 1-2-3 eighth ends with David Ortiz failing to check his swing on an 0-2 slider from Jerry Blevins.
Athletics 3, Red Sox 2, End 7th -- The Athletics strike again and seize the lead in the seventh. Despite getting ahead 0-2 on Coco Crisp, Aaron Cook gives him a meatball to hit on pitch three, and the result is a triple off the wall in right-center and the end of Cook's night. Andrew Miller can't keep the run out, immediately surrendering a single to Jemile Weeks that plates the go-ahead run. Miller, Albers, and Morales (in for an in-game bullpen session, effectively) combine to close out the inning, but now they're back behind the eight ball with just two innings left to play.
Red Sox 2, Athletics 2, Mid 7th -- A.J. Griffin is out, Grant Balfour is in, and the Sox are down 1-2-3 on just 10 pitches in the seventh, hitting three balls on the ground. Yet again it's a low-scoring late tie for the Sox.
Red Sox 2, Athletics 2, End 6th -- Perhaps not feeling proud of the way they took the lead, the Sox quickly surrender it in the bottom half of the inning, repaying the favor of the defensive mishap when neither Mike Aviles nor Mauro Gomez can find a one-out pop fly behind third. A gapper off the bat of Brandon Inge, and it was tied up again in a flash.
Red Sox 2, Athletics 1, Mid 6th -- An error from the Athletics allows the Sox to take the lead in the second. With David Ortiz on base via a walk and two outs, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a grounder towards second base and into the shift. Unfortunately for the Athletics, Jemile Weeks can only knock the ball down, keeping it away from the fielder backing him up and leaving Salty free to reach while Ortiz took second. With Adrian Gonzalez shooting a ground ball up the middle for a single behind them, the Sox took the lead 2-1.
Red Sox 1, Athletics 1, End 5th -- Aaron Cook gets a much-needed calm inning in the fifth, retiring the Athletics in order on just seven pitches. Once again Cook has been the model of efficiency, getting through the fifth with his pitch count under 70.
Red Sox 1, Athletics 1, Mid 5th -- Strikeouts of Cody Ross and Mike Aviles highlight a 1-2-3 fifth for A.J. Griffin, who is once again impressing in his third major league start. Through five frames, the Sox have just the two hits and a walk off of him.
Red Sox 1, Athletics 1, End 4th -- Cook finds himself in trouble once again, though this time it's not for a lack of grounders. The first one bounces off the glove of a diving Nick Punto, who's looked not at all like Pedroia in trying to make a number of difficult plays today. Another ground ball fails to erase the early baserunner as the throw to first arrives just late, and with Brandon Inge lacing a single into left afterwards, the A's once again have a runner in scoring position with one out.
A long fly ball shows that Cook isn't exactly getting stronger as the game goes on, but it doesn't lead to any runs, as Ryan Kalish manages to chase it down in center for the out before an easier fly ball ends the inning. Getting in trouble with ground balls and getting out of it with fly balls is just not Cook's game.
Red Sox 1, Athletics 1, Mid 4th -- David Ortiz reaches his milestone, cranking homer no. 400 on July 4th! Griffin leaves a fastball high and over the plate to Papi, and the All-Star DH doesn't miss it. The long drive is a no-doubter into the right field stands, allowing Papi to make his 400th trot around the bases in a major league game.
Athletics 1, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- Aaron Cook has to work hard for his outs in the third. Starting to lose control of his sinker and miss dangerously high, Cook surrenders a leadoff line drive single to Coco Crisp and then walks Josh Reddick to put two men on with one out. Cook goes back to his roots from there, however, getting a ground ball to short for an out, and anotherto Adrian Gonzalez, who makes a lengthy toss to Cook covering first to end the inning.
Athletics 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- A one-out walk from Nick Punto is all the Sox get in an inning of weak fly balls. At this point the offense is going to need more than just waking up. Someone get the defibrillator!
Athletics 1, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Cook gives up two balls in the air, and one of them goes the distance as Sox castoff Brandon Moss takes him deep to dead center to give the Athletics yet the lead..
Red Sox 0, Athletics 0, Mid 2nd -- Mauro Gomez makes up for the single he gave up defensively by doubling to left field for his first major league hit. Unfortunately, it comes with two outs, and while Cody Ross puts the bat on the ball, his hard hit fly ball doesn't really test Yoenis Cespedes, ending the inning.
Red Sox 0, Athletics 0, End 1st -- Ground balls, ground balls, ground balls! A recipe for success with the regular Red Sox infield, but not so much so far today. Cook starts the game in good form with five straight ground balls, but Nick Punto can only dive in the way of one, leading to an infield single, and Mauro Gomez can't even do that as his statue-like range is exposed at third for the first time tonight. Thankfully, the fifth one goes right to Punto for an easy third out.
Red Sox 0, Athletics 0, Mid 1st -- The Sox stay true to their West Coast form with a 1-2-3 first. A long battle from Daniel Nava helped to build the pitch count on Griffin some, but it's still an unwanted slow start without anything in the way of hard contact and a strikeout from Papi.