Boston’s Ortiz hits 400th HR; Moss helps A’s complete sweep of Red Sox

Posted July 04, 2012, at 9:26 p.m.
Last modified July 05, 2012, at 12:48 a.m.
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz watches his 400th career home run off Oakland Athletics' A.J. Griffin in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in Oakland, Calif.
Ben Margot | AP
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz watches his 400th career home run off Oakland Athletics' A.J. Griffin in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in Oakland, Calif.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Brandon Moss might just make Boston miss him yet.

Moss homered among his three hits for the Oakland Athletics in Wednesday’s 3-2 win and completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox.

He finished 6 for 8 with five RBIs and three runs scored against his former club that traded him away.

“Playing against a team you came up with and team you played your first little bit in the big leagues is special,” Moss said. “You want to do well, not out of animosity, but to show, ‘Hey, you did draft a good player.’”

Jemile Weeks hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh following former Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp’s leadoff triple in Oakland’s fourth straight win.

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz hit his 400th career home run and also scored on Adrian Gonzalez’s sixth-inning single, but Boston couldn’t avoid its first sweep by the A’s since May 23-25, 2008, also in Oakland. The Red Sox lost just their fourth series in the past 17 and completed a disappointing 2-5 road trip through Seattle and Oakland, the AL West’s two bottom teams.

“I wish he could celebrate,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “David is a team guy and he knows it’s a great individual accomplishment, we all know that. But it’s tarnished.”

Still, Ortiz returned to the clubhouse to some 40 congratulatory messages.

“And my phone is still blowing up,” he said. “I know at some point in my career when I’m not playing baseball I might look at it from the outside and be like, ‘Whoa, I guess I had a good career.’ I look at it right now as just another home run.”

Moss homered leading off the second for his 10th of the season, giving the A’s longballs in 15 straight games — most for the club since doing so in 17 in a row from April 12-May 1, 2002.

Moss singled in the fourth and doubled in the sixth, leaving him a triple shy of the cycle.

Brandon Inge doubled home Moss to tie the game at 2 in the sixth.

Grant Balfour (2-2) went 1 2-3 innings for the win as the A’s (41-42) moved within one game of .500 for the first time since they were 22-23 on May 23. Lone A’s All-Star Ryan Cook finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances.

Ortiz hit his 400th homer with a leadoff drive to right in the fourth inning against Oakland starter A.J. Griffin.

The 36-year-old Big Papi’s home runs rank eighth among active players and 49th on the career list. Next up for him to catch: Hall of Famer Duke Snider with 407.

“I was trying to attack the zone. Papi got me. Congrats to him,” Griffin said. “That’s a great milestone right there. My name will be next to that one.”

Ortiz’s 22nd home run of the season tied the game at 1. Ortiz has 352 home runs and 1,142 RBIs as a designated hitter for most all time by a DH.

Ortiz tipped his batting helmet as his milestone was announced to a standing ovation before he stepped in to hit in the sixth, then drew a five-pitch walk. He was thrilled with the surprising gesture from a crowd of 28,240.

“That was pretty cool. You’re playing on the road and you get something like that on the road, where people really appreciate it,” he said.

Aaron Cook (2-2) was tagged for nine hits and three runs in six-plus innings.

Griffin is still looking for his first major league win after six solid innings.

Gonzalez’s RBI single extended his season-best hitting streak to 15 games, longest active in the majors.

“Our offense has just been terrible,” Boston right fielder Cody Ross said. “I don’t need to sugarcoat it. It just (stunk) basically. Our pitchers have been pitching their butts off to keep us in games and we just can’t seem to push a run across.”

Oakland 3, Boston 2

On Tuesday night, two baserunning blunders in the top of the ninth kept the Red Sox from adding on against the Athletics, who rallied in the bottom half and won on Crisp’s game-ending sacrifice fly.

Nick Punto popped up his bunt, first baseman Chris Carter charged in to make a diving catch and threw out Mike Aviles in a close play by covering second baseman Jemile Weeks. Then, Ryan Kalish was caught stealing going for third.

The A’s got singles from Carter and Cliff Pennington before pinch-hitter Moss’ tying single against Alfredo Aceves (0-6). Then Crisp delivered his third career walkoff RBI and Oakland’s first game-ending sacrifice fly since Dan Johnson had one May 15, 2007, against Kansas City.

Jerry Blevins (2-0) worked 1 2-3 innings for the victory.

Jon Lester pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning and matched his season high with nine strikeouts, allowing Crisp’s leadoff homer in the first before finding his groove.

Bartolo Colon came off the disabled list to pitch for the first time since lasting only two innings June 17 against San Diego because of a strained right oblique muscle and allowed two runs — one earned — and five hits in six innings, struck out three and walked one.

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