The Red Sox picked up their first road win of the season Wednesday, defeating the Athletics 5-3 behind three home runs.
Clay Buchholz received the start for the Sox, hoping to close out a n excellent round through the rotation in which no starter allowed more than one run. It took all of one pitch for that limit to be reached, as a high fastball to Coco Crisp became Clay's sixth home run allowed on the season.
While Buchholz would be dealing with baserunners for much of the rest of his outing, recording just a single clean inning in the third, he was able to keep the Athletics off the board. This gave the Red Sox the chance to take their first lead of the short series.
After being shut down in the first, the Sox got off to a quick start in the second when Kevin Youkilis led off the inning with a single. Jed Lowrie looked like he was going to keep it going, hitting a long fly ball to right field, but David DeJesus made a spectacular catch, leaping at the wall to rob Lowrie of what would have been at least two bases. Still, the Sox pushed through and, after Marco Scutaro moved Youkilis to scoring position with a single of his own, Carl Crawford drove a Gio Gonzalez curveball into center for an RBI single. The Sox failed to fully capitalize on their opportunity, however, as what looked to be a failed hit-and-run with Jason Varitek and Crawford resulted in a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out double play.
From there, the Red Sox turned to the long ball. In the fourth inning, it was Kevin Youkilis getting the job done, pulling a 3-2 fastball well over the wall in left field. In the sixth, with the skies opening up above him, Jed Lowrie revived his legend after a flat day with a 2-run shot to the exact same spot. And, though the Sox would not need it, J.D. Drew collected one of his own with a rocket that just cleared the wall in right.
Despite having what was his first reasonably comfortable lead in the sixth, it was being too careful that eventually did Clay Buchholz in. With Ryan Sweeney leading off the frame with a double and advancing to third on a ground ball from Mark Ellis, Clay became obsessed with keeping him from scoring. An 0-2 to Landon Powell quickly became a walk, and when the next batter received a free pass of his own, Terry Francona went to Daniel Bard.
After striking out Cliff Pennington on three pitches, Bard came very close to disaster when Coco Crisp lined a ball to left field. What could have been a bases clearing double, however, was called back, just inches foul. One pitch later, and Crisp popped out to end the threat.
The Sox would again face trouble in the eighth when a rusty Bobby Jenks struggled with control, but Jonathan Papelbon bailed him out with just one run on the board. The A's scored again in the ninth with Papelbon still in the game, but the Red Sox closer settled down and induced a pair of easy pop outs to end the game.