Sox win behind Crawford and Gonzalez home runs


Sox win behind Crawford and Gonzalez home runs

By Sean McAdam

Returning to the mound for the first time in almost a month, John Lackey earned his first victory since April 24 as the Red Sox completed a sweep of the Oakland A's with a 6-3 victory.

Lackey, who spent three weeks on the DL with elbow soreness, allowed three runs on just two hits in 5 23 innings. He hit three batters and walked two others.

A three-run homer by Carl Crawford -- his first homer of the season at Fenway -- spotted the Sox a quick lead on Oakland starter Brett Anderson.

Adrian Gonzalez added a two-run homer to the opposite field in the fourth for his third home run of the homestand. A run-scoring single by Dustin Pedroia in the sixth accounted for the final Red Sox run.

David Ortiz had three of the Red Sox' 12 hits and was robbed of a fourth when former teammate Coco Crisp sprinted to the triangle in right-center and robbed him of extra bases in the sixth.

The sweep was the fifth of the year for the Red Sox.

Matt Albers, Tommy Hottovy, Dan Wheeler and Daniel Bard combined to provide 3 13 innings of scoreless relief.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff


McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

BOSTON -- If you think John Farrell's decision to hit Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff for one night is the reason Bradley's 29-game hit streak came to an end, I've got some swamp land you might be interested in buying.

Such silly talk first surfaced mid-afternoon when the lineup was announced. With Mookie Betts getting his first day off this season, somebody had to hit leadoff. Farrell went with the guy who was leading the league in hitting.

That sounds reasonable. But not to some, who cried that putting Bradley at the top was (take your pick) disrupting Bradley's routine, putting him in a place with which he wasn't familiar, or asking him to change his approach.

Of course, none of those made much sense.

First of all, Thursday night marked the sixth (SIXTH!) different spot that Bradley has hit during the hitting streak. He had hit second, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. So the notion that any change was disruptive was absurd.

As for the notion that Bradley would treat his at-bats differently because he was leading off? Also wrong. Bradley's major adjustment since spring training has been being aggressive early in the count. So, do you know how many pitches Bradley saw in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter? Eight.

Does that sound like someone who was being forced to be more patient for the night, or someone changing their approach by working the count more?

Finally, Bradley hit two balls on the screws -- one to the warning track in right, just in front of the bullpen in his first at-bat and another in front of the center field door, some 400 or so feet away, in his third.

Streaks come to an end, even when hitters belt the ball hard. Twice.