Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Adrian Beltre went 3-for-4 with a home run and Daisuke Matsuzaka threw into the seventh inning, as the Boston Red Sox cooled off the Oakland Athletics with a 2-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series.
Matsuzaka (7-3) pitched 6 2/3 innings, and the only run he gave up came on a home run by Rajai Davis. Overall, the right-hander gave up two hits, walked two and struck out six.
Daniel Bard threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, while Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his 21st save and the win for the Red Sox, who had dropped three of four to Texas over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Athletics brought a five-game win streak into Monday’s game, their longest of the season, but had that broken as their offense posted three hits.
Ben Sheets (4-9) took the loss after allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings.
Davis gave Oakland the lead in the third inning, when he ripped a 2-2 slider, that Matsuzaka left over the middle of the plate, to left field for his fourth homer of the season.
However, Boston moved in front in the next inning. Eric Patterson led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by David Ortiz. Sheets retired Kevin Youkilis, but threw a first-pitch changeup to Beltre over the heart of the plate. Beltre didn’t miss, smacking his 15th homer of the season for a 2-1 Red Sox lead.
After he walked Daric Barton to start the home fourth, Matsuzaka retired 10 consecutive batters before walking Jack Cust in the seventh. He retired Adam Rosales for the second out, but surrendered a double to Mark Ellis that put runners in scoring position.
But Bard came in and got Gabe Gross on a pop fly to end the threat, then got through the eighth without giving up a run.
The Oakland Athletics lost Ryan Sweeney for the rest of the season Monday after he elected to have surgery on at least one of his ailing knees. Sweeney was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right patella tendinitis, but it was later decided he will have the surgery. The recovery time is expected to take 4-to-6 months. Sweeney will also have his left knee examined, and a second surgery is not out of the question…A’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was scratched because of lower back stiffness.