|Connelly’s Top Ten: Belichick’s Greatest Move||Red Sox Targeting David Price||Notes and Observations Week 11: Defense Leads Battered Patriots to Victory Over Bills 20-13||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win Despite Cannon’s Assassination Attempt on Brady|
The Oakland Athletics completed a sweep of the Boston Red Sox on the 4th of July, beating them by a score of 3-2. Another good pitching performance from the Red Sox pitching staff was wasted as the offense continued to remain stagnant on the road trip.
The A’s struck first again in this one, and once again it was former Red Sox outfielder Brandon Moss who homered to center field to put the A’s up 1-0 early. In the top of the fourth inning, David Ortiz finally joined the 400 homerun club as he launched his 22nd of the year into right field. Ortiz was responsible for the Red Sox only two runs, as later in the sixth inning Adrian Gonzalez singled to center field scoring Ortiz from second base. For the second straight game the Red Sox had a 2-1 lead, only to watch it slip away.
The A’s didn’t take long to respond to the Sox second run. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Brandon Moss struck again doubling on a pop up that shortstop Mike Aviles lost in the sun. Two batters later, Brandon Inge doubled to center field, which allowed Moss to score the game tying run.
Coco Crisp led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a triple to center field. This triple ended starter Aaron Cook’s day. Andrew Miller came on to replace Cook and gave up a single to Jemile Weeks, scoring Crisp on the play and giving the A’s the 3-2 lead. That one run lead was all the A’s needed as the Red Sox offense continued to struggle. Ryan Cook came on in the ninth inning for the A’s and retired the Red Sox in order to end the game and the series.
David Ortiz had a landmark day as he hit his 400th home run. 400 home runs is no small feat in Major League Baseball as Ortiz became the 49th player to hit the milestone shot. Consistent with the rest of the season, Ortiz appears to be the only player on the offense who has been consistently performing to his ability.
The Red Sox offense finished the road trip with a record of 2-5, when they easily could have been 5-2. The Sox offense were an astoundingly bad 5-44 with runners in scoring position on the road-trip, and scored only 14 runs in seven games. The Red Sox have a much needed night off on Thursday and then take on the Yankees in a four game in three-day series at Fenway. Hopefully some home cooking is just what they need as they approach the All-Star Break.
Aaron Cook provided another solid performance on Wednesday. Cook went six innings, allowing nine hits, three earned runs, walked one batter, and struck out none. The Sox pitching staff performed well on the road-trip. Not taking the injury shortened outing from Daisuke Matsuzaka into consideration, the pitching staff only allowed 11 earned runs. Every game the starters kept the team in it, but the offense was simply dumbfounded by the opposition. Here’s hoping the All-Star Break will revitalize the Sox bats.