OAKLAND -- For the second night in a row, former Red Sox outfielders conspired to do in their former team.
Trailing by a run in the ninth, the A's got a game-tying pinch-hit single from Brandon Moss and a game-winning sacrifice fly from Coco Crisp to edge the Red Sox 3-2.
The other Oakland run came on a first-inning homer by Crisp. Oakland has scored nine runs in the two series and eight have been knocked in by former Red Sox players Crisp, Moss and Josh Reddick.
Alfredo Aceves blew his fourth save chance of the season.
The blown save wasted a fine start by Jon Lester, who went 6 23 innings, striking out nine, which matched his previous season high. He allowed a solo homer to Coco Crisp to open the first, then walked Jemile Weeks before retiring 14 of the next 15 hitters he faced. After the first inning, just two A's reached base against him.
Vicente Padilla took over with two outs and a runner on in the seventh and fanned Brandon Hicks. Padilla has stranded 18-of-19 inherited runners this season. Padilla then worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth when he struck out Yoenis Cespedes and Johnny Gomes.
The Sox got a solo homer from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the second to tie the game, then took the lead in the fourth when Oakland first baseman Chris Carter couldn't handle Saltalamacchia's smash, enabling David Ortiz (single) to score from third.
Boston has scored just 12 runs in the six games on the current trip. In five of the six, they've managed two runs or fewer. With runners in scoring position, the Sox are just 4-for-37 (.108) in those six games.
Never say never?
While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.
CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season.
For the full interview with Martinez, click here.
Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.
The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.
But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.
“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.
“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”
He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.
He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.
But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.
“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”