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Another day, another lefty. The Red Sox faced a tough lefty starter for the gazillionth time this season, meaning their lefty-heavy lineup was going to be swapped around again. Terry Francona sat David Ortiz against Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez, opting instead to play Kevin Youkilis (DH), Marco Scutaro (SS), and Jed Lowrie (3B).
The lineup changes worked as the Red Sox slugged three home runs before holding on for a 5-3 win Wednesday afternoon. In the fifth consecutive strong outing by a Red Sox starter, Clay Buchholz earned his first win, going 5.1 innings while allowing 1 run on 6 hits and 4 walks.
The results were much better this time around for Buchholz, but the young righty still allowed his sixth home run of the season in just four starts (he allowed 9 all last year), giving up a gopherball in the bottom of the first to old friend Coco Crisp. The former Sox center fielder went 2-5 with a couple RBI on the day.
The Red Sox got their scoring going in the second, when their newest outfielder, Carl Crawford, singled home Kevin Youkilis (2-4) out of the No. 7 spot. Crawford, who finished 1-4 to raise his season batting average to .149, knocked in the first run off Gonzalez since the second inning of the lefty’s first start (a stretch of 18 consecutive scoreless IP).
The Sox made it 2-1 on Youk’s homer in the fourth inning, and added two more on Jed Lowrie’s blast in the sixth inning. J.D. Drew (batting leadoff) made it a 5-1 game with his solo shot in the seventh inning.
The A’s then made it interesting, gathering a run off Bobby Jenks in the eighth inning and another in the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon. With the winning run at the plate, Paps got Josh Willingham and Cliff Pennington each to pop out in consecutive at-bats to end the game.
He’s no Jacoby Ellsbury (who has a team-leading 4 HRs), but Jed Lowrie continued to rake on Wednesday. He finished 2-4 with his third home run to raise his season average to .462.
Handed a four-run lead, Jenks had a lot of difficulty in the eighth inning. He recorded just two outs while allowing three hits, a walk, and a run.
W: Clay Buchholz (1-2)
L: Gio Gonzalez (2-1)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (3)