Thursday May 3, 2012

BOSTON (AP) -- Brandon McCarthy beat an AL East opponent once again, holding Boston to one run over 62 3 innings as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Red Sox 4-2 Wednesday night.

Seth Smith drove in a pair of runs for Oakland. The A's, who started the day with the majors' worst batting average and fewest runs in the AL, took two of three games from the Red Sox.

Boston has lost seven of its last eight in Fenway Park.

McCarthy (2-3) allowed five hits, walked three and fanned four. He improved to 8-0 with a 3.34 ERA since 2009 against AL East clubs.

Brian Fuentes gave up Dustin Pedroia's RBI double in the ninth, but got his first save.

Daniel Bard (2-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits over 51 3 innings.

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, recalled earlier in the day when Kevin Youkilis was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained lower back, went 2 for 3 with a double and a stolen base in his first major league game.

David Ortiz went 2 for 4 and is hitting .488 in Fenway.

Bard breezed through the first three innings, allowing only Cliff Pennington's first-inning single and a walk in each of the next two before the A's grabbed a 1-0 lead on Smith's RBI single in the fourth.

They took advantage of outfielder Cody Ross misplaying Smith's RBI double in the sixth, scored three runs and chased Bard to open a 4-0 edge.

Smith lofted a fly near the corner that Ross overran, and the ball bounced on the track behind him. Kila Ka'aihue followed with a double into the right-field corner and, after Bard hit Kurt Suzuki on the left hand, Brandon Inge had an RBI double. Matt Albers got the next two batters, stranding runners on second and third.

Boston had the first two runners on in the fifth, but Marlon Byrd popped out. McCarthy then retired Mike Aviles and Ryan Sweeney.

Byrd's sacrifice fly made it 4-1 in the seventh.

Boston's Adrian Gonzalez struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh and bounced out to end the game. He went 0 for 4 and is hitless for his last 15 at-bats.