Sox win fourth straight, down A's, 4-2

Sox win fourth straight, down A's, 4-2
July 13, 2013, 1:15 am
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OAKLAND -- The beauty of the two-out base hit saved the Red Sox for a second straight game.     

The Sox collected just six hits Friday night, but two of them were two-run singles with two outs, enough to carry them to their fourth straight victory, 4-2 over the Oakland A's.     

Brock Holt singled home two in the second inning, and Dustin Pedroia snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-run, two-out single in the eighth off reliever Ryan Cook.     

In Thursday's win, six of their runs -- including the winning run in the 10th inning -- came after two were out.     

John Lackey (7-6) earned the win with seven strong innings for his fourth win in his last five decisions. It also marked the sixth straight outing in which he pitched seven or more innings and gave up two or fewer runs.     

Lackey didn't allow a hit until Seth Smith led off the fifth with a double. A single by John Jaso two batters later produced the first Oakland run.     

Lackey allowed just three hits over seven innings, though he walked a season-high four, matching the number he had allowed in his previous five starts combined.     

A solo homer by Jed Lowrie to lead off the sixth tied the game for the A's.     

Andrew Bailey pitched a scoreless eighth and Koji Uehara earned his eighth save.

Once again, Lackey gave the Red Sox a quality start, limiting the A's to just three hits and two runs over seven innings. He now has a 2.78 ERA for the season, best among the active starters and among the league leaders.

Pedroia, as is often the case, helped out on both sides of the ball. In the fifth, when the A's had a run in and runners at the corners, he snared a rocket hit by Josh Donaldson and turned it into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play. Then, with two runners in scoring position in the eighth, he delivered a go-ahead, two-run single.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Sean Doolittle
After starter Jarrod Parker had limited the Red Sox to just three hits, Doolittle put two of the first four hitters he faced on base (single, hit batsman), directly leading to the go-ahead runs.

TURNING POINT: Lackey was reeling in the fifth, having allowed a leadoff double, his fourth walk of the night and a run-scoring single when Pedroia's brilliant play led to the rally-killing double play.

BY THE NUMBERS: Jacoby Ellsbury's 19-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in either league, came to an end with an 0-for-4 night.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "The defensive play was kind of self-defense - that ball was hit pretty darn hard. Thank God it landed in my glove, because if it didn't, it probably would have put a hole in my chest.'' Dustin Pedroia on the ball he fielded from Josh Donaldson in the fifth inning.