OAKLAND -- Over their recent homestand, the Red Sox seldom busted out at the plate, but did enough of the little things to compile a 5-2 record.
They didn't get many hits, but as was the case Wednesday, they got big ones -- two homers in the bottom of the 10th -- when they needed them.
Or they got a key out to shut down an inning, or made a big play to prevent a run.
Of course, it helped that they played two teams -- Cleveland and Minnesota -- who were essentially, give a take a few games, .500 teams.
But matched up against the Oakland A's, who happen to sport the best record in the American League, the Sox needed more, and on Thursday, they didn't have it.
Following a 4-2 defeat to the A's it was easy to look back on some things that could have or should have gone the other way.
* In the second inning, with runners on first and second and no out, starter Jake Peavy fielded a comebacker from Derek Norris. Instead of going to second to try for a double play, Peavy whirled and went to third to cut down Josh Donaldson, the lead runner.
He accomplished that much, but third baseman Xander Bogaerts didn't set himself properly before firing across the diamond to get Norris at first.
Bogaerts' throw was wide, skipping past first baseman Mike Napoli, as both runners advanced a base. With Jed Lowrie on third, he scored on Stephen Vogt's groundout to second.
"Instinctually, (Peavy) is cutting down the lead runner,'' said Farrell. "Xander rushed his throw some and pulled Nap off the bag for the added 90 feet. To say that we were assure ourselves of a double play in the middle of the diamond...that's debatable. But we did get the out, but the throw was errant.''
"Such little things,'' said Peavy, shaking his head. "If I got to second base on the double-play ball, we probably don't give up that unearned run. When I caught the ball, I turned to second and there wasn't a guy right there when I looked. I thought I could it to Bogey, and then have him come across the diamond.
"I wanted to keep that runner off third base. That was my thought process. It's just unfortunate that a few plays that could go the other way end up costing you the game. That's just the way it is.''
* Even in the ninth inning, it seemed the Sox weren't done.
Dustin Pedroia, whose two-run homer in the sixth had produced the only runs of the night, doubled with one out in the ninth and after Mike Napoli lined out softly to first, A.J. Pierzynski drove a ball to deep right-center.
"Off the bat, it looked like something possibly off the wall,'' said Farrell. "But Coco (Crisp) runs it down and is in that spot right where, maybe if it's got a little more elevation, we might be looking at a tie ballgame.''
"We came up a couple of inches short,'' said Pierzynski. "You saw Coco Crisp jump up and catch it at the top of the wall. I mean, what else can you do? I've hit a couple of balls recently I thought were home runs and for some reason, they're not going out of the park. Maybe I need to talk to Pat (Sandora, strength and conditioning coach) about the weight-lifting program or something.''
Better opponents, same performance, predictable result. "tough losing,'' sighed Peavy. "We've got to find a way to come out on the other side of these things.''