Ross gets it done with the bat and glove on Sunday

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Ross gets it done with the bat and glove on Sunday

BOSTON -- Cody Ross wasnt even sure of the last time he had a sacrifice bunt. It could have been earlier this year, Ross said after Sundays game against the Orioles at Fenway Park, but he wasnt sure.

Actually, it was June 19 against the Marlins. That increased the bunt total in his nine-season career to three. So, to see him attempt it in the eighth inning of a tie game with no outs and the potential go-ahead run on second base in the person of Dustin Pedroia, who had just doubled off Luis Ayala, may have looked a little odd. It was more than a deke, though.

It wasnt something that was asked of me, Ross said. I just kind of did it on my own.

I tried to get him over with a bunt, just for the simple fact that it was tough to see throughout the whole game. I was just hoping I could get a ball down and then have, I guess, James Loney behind me or whoever try to drive Pedey in.

Instead, Ross missed on his first attempt, a first-pitch fastball. On the second pitch, another fastball, he reverted to his forte using his made-for-Fenway swing to drive a double off the wall, driving in Pedroia with what would be the eventual winning run, extending Ross team-high RBI total to 77 (among active players, Adrian Gonzalez had 86 with the Sox), giving the Sox a 2-1 lead.

I just decided to attempt to stay inside one and get him over that way, and the pitch just kept kind of running in on me, he said. I just tried to stay inside it and luckily I kept it fair.

But it wasnt just the eighth inning. Ross left his imprint on the game from the very beginning. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI, and a home run-saving catch in right field.

Ross scored the Sox first run, after he led leading off the fourth with a single. He went to second when Loney walked, and took third on Danny Valencias fielders choice, alertly going home on Robert Andinos throwing error.

In the first inning, he made a nifty catch behind the Pesky Pole to rob Adam Jones of a home run, slamming into the wall in the process.

Adam put a really good swing on a ball that was away and I was just tracking it and thinking that it was probably going to be foul, Ross said. And just ran over and didnt really know where I was, actually. I thought the ball was in front of the pole after I caught it and I ran in and someone said, You just robbed a home run. I was like, I did? Oh cool. Banged my knee up a little bit and my forearms a little sore. But gratifying to catch it and help Felix Doubront have that scoreless inning. And he went after that to pitch well and 11 strikeouts and got some key groundballs, and just looked outstanding pounding the strike zone. Great game.

Asked if he prefers home run-robbing catches or game-winning hits, Ross replied:

Theyre both equally as great. You dont necessarily think that a play in the first inning is going to be a game-saving catch. But then it ended up to be a big play. But when you do something later on in the innings, in the seventh, eighth, ninth innings, thats definitely more gratifying.

For now, his fourth career sacrifice bunt will have to wait.

Its a lot tougher than it looks, Ross said, with a smile.

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

OAKLAND, Calif. - A five-run ninth inning for the Red Sox that lasted more than a half-hour derailed any chance Eduardo Rodriguez had of getting his first career complete game.

Not that the left-hander was complaining.

After a bitter loss to Oakland a year ago when he allowed just one hit over eight innings, Rodriguez was more than happy with the way things turned out.

Rodriguez earned his second straight win, Mitch Moreland homered in his third consecutive game and Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 12-3 on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"I wanted to go back out there but they hit the ball pretty good in that inning and I know I had to get out of the game," Rodriguez said about the long wait. "I'll take it because we score more runs, I have a chance to win. If every inning's like that, I'll get out of the game after five."

Rodriguez (3-1) allowed three runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"Where he was with the pitch count, it'd be nice for him to go out there for the ninth inning given where he was and how well he was throwing the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But at that point you're up nine, probably about a 35-minute inning, didn't want to take any chances."

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had three hits apiece to power a Red Sox lineup that tallied 15 hits. Every player in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the nine drove in runs.

Chad Pinder homered and drove in two runs for Oakland.

Boston, which hasn't been swept in a four-game series since July 2015, trailed 3-2 before scoring 10 runs over the final five innings.

"It felt we had them on the run a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today."

Pinder went deep in the fourth, his fourth home run in eight games and fifth overall.

The A's committed three errors, giving them a major league-leading 42.

BRADLEY'S DEFENSIVE GEMS

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts gave the A's trouble with his running and defense. Betts scored twice from first base and also made a pair of strong defensive plays. He made a sliding catch on Mark Canha's sinking liner in the eighth and then slammed into the wall after catching Khris' Davis fly to end the inning.

"This place during the daytime plays very difficult," Farrell said. "What Mookie was able to do a couple times in right field, those aren't easy plays. To be able to stay with it, go up against the wall a couple of times, we played very good outfield defense here today."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Brock Holt continues to deal with lingering symptoms from vertigo and isn't yet ready to come off the disabled list, according to Farrell. Likewise, Boston plans to keep third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the minors to get consistent at-bats while recovering from a right knee sprain. ... Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who took the loss Saturday, will start against Texas on Thursday.

Athletics: Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) sat out his fourth straight game but could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Oakland begins a two-game series against Miami. ... Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground before making 15 pitches off the mound. The plan is for the former closer to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday. ... Melvin said the team has applied for an extension on Chris Bassitt's rehab assignment. Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (2-5) faces Texas on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Porcello has lost three of his last four decisions.

Athletics: Following an off day, RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) starts against Miami on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Hahn leads the majors in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.19.