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July 31, 2009

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Athletics pound Red Sox again

THE Oakland Athletics are hitting the way the once-powerful Boston Red Sox used to.

For the second straight night, the Athletics outslugged the Red Sox, winning 8-6 on Wednesday, a night after they pounded out 21 hits for a 9-8 win in 11 innings.

"It looked like they didn't finish hitting since (Tuesday) night," said Mike Lowell, who had five RBI for Boston. "I guess we ran into them at the wrong time."

July has been the right time for the Athletics. They're batting .297 this month but still last in the American League West. The Red Sox are hitting .242 in July and fell 3 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the East.

"Other than the very beginning of the season, we hadn't really had too many scuffles," said Boston's Jason Bay, who struck out three times and is in a 9 for 52 slump. "Obviously, the second half of the season isn't where you want it to happen."

Brett Anderson has been a bright spot in Oakland's young rotation, especially at Fenway Park where he won a two-hit complete game on July 6.

On Wednesday, after Adam Kennedy homered on the game's first pitch from Brad Penny (7-5) to begin a five-run first, Anderson (6-8) allowed Lowell's three-run homer in the bottom of the inning. Then he gave up just two hits in his remaining five innings.

"A big key to the game was holding them off after the first inning," Anderson said. "I was able to mix and match (pitches) early to get to two strikes to get to my slider."

Kennedy had a career-high five hits on Tuesday, including a single that gave Oakland a 9-7 lead.

"It's good to get the offense going a little bit and score some runs, especially in this place," Kennedy said.

Elsewhere in the AL, it was: Angels 9, Indians 3; Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2; Orioles 7, Royals 3; Yankees 6, Rays 2; Tigers 13, Rangers 5; and Twins 3, White Sox 2.

In the National League, it was: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (in 15 innings); Cubs 12, Astros 0; Giants 1, Pirates 0 (in 10 innings); Marlins 6, Braves 3; Padres 7, Reds 1; Brewers 7, Nationals 5; and Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0.

In Boston, Oakland led 8-3 after six innings, but Boston scored single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth. The Red Sox had runners at first and second with two outs in the ninth, but J.D. Drew grounded out as Andrew Bailey earned his shaky 13th save in 17 chances.

The Athletics improved to 43-57 while the Red Sox dropped to 58-42.

"They just beat us right from the get-go," Bay said. "Regardless of their record, they're out there winning games right now. We're not."

Oakland had three hits on the first four pitches, led 1-0 and had the bases loaded on the first nine and finished the five-run first with Rajai Davis' three-run double.


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