OAKLAND, Calif. — Center fielder Coco Crisp is making a habit of playing the role of hero for the Oakland A’s and heartbreaker for the Boston Red Sox.
Crisp hit a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, leading the A’s to a 2-1 victory against the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at O.co Coliseum.
Crisp’s game-winning hit came one day after he singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of Oakland’s 4-3 victory against Boston.
First baseman Alberto Callaspo worked a leadoff walk against right-hander Edward Mujica in the 10th inning and moved to second on second baseman Nick Punto’s sacrifice bunt.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara entered the game, and Crisp lined his first-pitch fastball to right, bringing Callaspo home. It was Crisp’s seventh career walk-off RBI and his second of the season.
“I knew we had an open base,” Crisp said. “I didn’t know what approach they were going to take, whether to be careful or come right after me. I was taking the approach they were going to come right after me. I didn’t want to wait around for the splitter so I was hoping that he would come in (with) what I was looking for, and he did. Another lucky guess.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said he never considered having Uehara walk Crisp.
“I like the matchup with Koji against anybody,” Farrell said. “He gets a first-pitch fastball up. I’m not concerned right-left with Koji. If you look at it, Koji’s better against lefties than might be the other case.”
The A’s beat the Red Sox for the third straight game and will go for the series sweep Sunday. Oakland (47-28) improved to a season-best 19 games above .500 and has the best record in the major leagues.
A’s right-hander Jesse Chavez threw seven shutout innings but got a no-decision. Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa allowed just one run over seven innings but didn’t figure in the decision either.
A’s right fielder/catcher Stephen Vogt went 2-for-2 and scored in the third inning after hitting a leadoff triple, giving Oakland a 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox pulled even in the eighth, scoring a controversial run. With runners on first and third and two outs, Boston first baseman Mike Napoli faced a 2-2 count against A’s reliever Luke Gregerson. Napoli swung at Gregerson’s next pitch and appeared to strike out, but home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott ruled that Napoli’s foul tip hit the ground before Vogt (then behind the plate) caught it. Video replays showed the ball landing directly in Vogt’s glove, but the play was not reviewable under baseball’s rules.
Gregerson bounced his next pitch, and as it deflected off Vogt and back toward the mound, second baseman Dustin Pedroia sprinted home and scored with a head-first slide, tying the game.
“It’s definitely a little gamble,” Pedroia said. “It all depends on the situation. I think righties are hitting like .150 off (Gregerson). Obviously that was a tough at-bat, so you have to try to make something happen.”
Vogt said he had his eye on the pitch and didn’t know how far Pedroia got down the line before taking off.
“The block got away from me maybe two feet farther than it should have and he made a great read,” Vogt said. “It was a great play by him just to go on first contact. He must have been taking a couple of hard steps right away. It kicked away from me just enough to where he could sneak behind me.”
Chavez had a no-hitter through five innings before giving up a leadoff single to rookie right fielder Brock Holt in the sixth. Pedroia lined a single to right, moving Holt to second. That brought designated hitter David Ortiz to the plate with a chance to do some damage, but Chavez got him to hit a ground ball to first base that the A’s turned for a double play.
With two outs and Holt on third base, Napoli struck out looking at Chavez’s 89 mph fastball on an 0-2 count that caught the outside corner.
De La Rosa had the best road start in his young career, allowing one run on four hits. He struck out seven, walked only one and threw 100 pitches. Going into the game, De La Rosa was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts at Fenway Park but 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in two starts away from home.
“We fought hard in this game,” Farrell said. “We created some opportunities. Rubby pitched outstanding, and we’ve got to continue to grind away.”
NOTES: Red Sox 3B Xander Bogaerts, who is hitless in his last 12 at-bats, was out of the lineup Saturday, with Jonathan Herrera getting the start. Herrera will start at shortstop Sunday, giving Stephen Drew a day off, manager John Farrell said. … Oakland C Derek Norris was out of the lineup, one day after taking a foul ball off his left forearm and suffering a contusion, but manager Bob Melvin said he was “doing much better” and could potentially be used off the bench.