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Red Sox Blanked By A's, Playoff Hopes All But Vanquished

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Trevor Cahill threw seven shutout innings and Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run double to get the Oakland offense started, as the Athletics beat the Red Sox, 5-0, in the opener of a three-game series.

Cahill (16-6) limited Boston to three hits and two walks, and struck out four to take the win. The right-hander has pitched 13 scoreless innings over his last two starts to lower his ERA to 2.61.

Coco Crisp had three hits and a walk at the top of Oakland’s lineup. Daric Barton added a two-run single for the A’s, who improved to 5-2 on their homestand.

Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (15-7) took the loss after giving up all five Oakland runs in one-plus innings. He faced 11 batters, walking four and allowing five hits. Of his 39 pitches, 17 were for strikes.

Boston was coming off a series win against Tampa Bay, but Friday’s loss dropped the Red Sox to 7 1/2 games behind the Rays in the AL wild card chase.

Crisp opened the bottom of the first with a single and stole second before Barton walked. Suzuki followed with a two-run double to left-center to make it a 2-0 game.

Buchholz continued to struggle with his control, walking Jack Cust. A Mark Ellis bunt single loaded the bases for Hermida, who grounded into a double play. But that still plated the third run for the A’s.

Oakland loaded the bases to begin the second, on two walks and a single. Barton followed with a base hit to right to bring in two for a 5-0 lead.

It was all the support Cahill needed, as the Red Sox got few opportunities against him. Perhaps their biggest chance came in the second inning, when a Jed Lowrie walk and Josh Reddick double put runners in scoring position with two away. But Cahill got Bill Hall to ground out to end the threat.

Boston did not have a runner past first base for the remainder of Cahill’s start. Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless eighth and Henry Rodriguez threw a 1-2-3 ninth to finish the three-hitter.

Cahill became the first A’s pitcher to win 16 games since Joe Blanton and Barry Zito each had 16 victories in 2006, when Oakland went 93-69…Cust walked three times and added a double.