OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Seth Smith hit a two-run homer, Stephen Drew hit a solo shot for his first clout since joining Oakland and the Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Sunday for their season-best ninth straight win.
Brett Anderson (3-0) won his third straight start since returning from a 14-month absence to recover from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, a big boost for the AL wild-card leading A’s down the stretch after losing Bartolo Colon to a 50-game suspension Aug. 22.
Josh Reddick added a sacrifice fly and Yoenis Cespedes drove in a run with a groundout as Oakland (76-57) moved into a tie with the New York Yankees for the second-best record in the American League behind the two-time reigning AL champion Texas Rangers (79-54).
This is the club’s longest winning run since 10 in a row from June 8-18, 2006, the last year the A’s reached the playoffs.
Oakland has 29 games left, including seven against Texas and all but six contests with Seattle coming against opponents with winning records.
The A’s won their eighth in a row against the Red Sox to match their longest winning streak in the rivalry since the Philadelphia A’s did so May 2-28, 1932. The 8-1 record against Boston also set an Oakland single-season mark, topping the 9-3 by the 1971 and `88 teams.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4) had another rough day in the right-hander’s second straight short start at the Oakland Coliseum. On July 2, Dice-K allowed five runs in one-plus inning while dealing with a stiff neck. This time, he was tagged for six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked four in his second-shortest outing after that previous start here.
Drew, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 20, also hit an RBI single in the third and an eighth-inning double for his first three-hit game for Oakland.
The A’s outscored the Red Sox 33-5 in the series and hit nine home runs -- five of those in Friday night’s 20-2 rout, two Saturday and two more Sunday. That after hitting four in the series finale at Cleveland on Thursday.
Anderson allowed one run on five hits in six innings, struck out four and walked one in another impressive day since returning from his injury -- even if he raised his ERA from 0.64 to 0.90.
Anderson, who improved to 5-2 in eight career starts against the Red Sox, was given an extra day because the schedule worked out to do so and manager Bob Melvin wants to be especially cautious with the left-hander after all the time he missed.
He faced two over the minimum through five innings and was done after running into trouble in the sixth, when he got a big save from his defense.
After Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield single in the sixth inning that was stopped from going for extra bases by diving third baseman Josh Donaldson, Cody Ross hit an RBI single. Scott Podsednik tried to score from second but left fielder Cespedes grabbed Ross’ one-hopper and fired home to catcher Derek Norris to save a second run.
Mauro Gomez hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Red Sox. Boston dropped its fifth straight and remained winless on this West Coast swing, which finishes with a three-game series at Seattle beginning Monday.
Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning single.
Coco Crisp walked twice, scored two runs and stole his 31st base for Oakland.