American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, September 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (62-72) at Oakland Athletics (75-57), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 5.10)
Oakland - Brett Anderson (2-0, 0.64)
(Sports Network) - Brett Anderson has been terrific for the Oakland Athletics
since being activated from the disabled list. He eyes a third straight win for
himself and aims to stretch the A's winning streak to nine in the finale of a
three-game set with the Boston Red Sox at the Coliseum.
Anderson has been downright spectacular for the A's after missing a whole year
recovering from Tommy John surgery. After giving up a run in seven innings in
his return, Anderson was even better on Monday in Cleveland, as he scattered
two hits over seven scoreless innings to get the win.
"I thought his stuff was good last time," A's skipper Bob Melvin said. "I
personally thought it was even better tonight. ... His stuff was really good,
Anderson, who is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA, has faced the Red Sox seven times and is
4-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
"Everybody was excited about the prospect of getting Brett back with the stuff
he has, because he has top-of-the-rotation stuff," Melvin said. "He can be a
No. 1 or No. 2. He's showing that right now."
Boston, meanwhile, will turn to Matsuzaka, who was also solid in his own
return from the DL on Monday. Matsuzaka beat the Kansas City Royals, limiting
them to just an unearned run in seven innings.
"My body right now feels a lot better than it did before I had Tommy John
(surgery), and my body feels better than it did back in June," said Matsuzaka.
Like Anderson, Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John surgery, but returned in June of
this season. However, he went back on the DL following an awful outing in
Oakland in July 2 that saw him get blasted for five runs in just one inning.
He is 4-2 in eight starts against them with a 4.73 ERA.
Matsuzaka will have his work cut out for him on Sunday trying to slow down an
Oakland team that has won eight in a row and has outscored the Red Sox, 27-3,
in the first two games of this set.
On Saturday, A.J. Griffin pitched seven strong innings in Oakland's 7-1
Coming off a 20-2 loss on Friday, the Red Sox tied a season high with their
fifth consecutive defeat, and tempers boiled over in the dugout.
Alfredo Aceves, who was suspended three games for reportedly slamming the door
to manager Bobby Valentine's office at Fenway Park. had a night to forget. The
right-hander dropped a foul pop-up in the fourth inning and then got into a
verbal spat in the dugout with second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Aceves pitched three innings in relief of Felix Doubront (10-7), who fell to
0-3 over his last six starts and hasn't won since July 18.
Coco Crisp had three hits, including a homer to start the bottom of the first
inning, as the A's established a season-best winning streak and climbed within
three games of Texas for first place in the AL West.
Griffin (4-0) retired the first 14 batters until Jarrod Saltalamacchia bunted
for a hit. Griffin allowed two more hits and a run and fanned five. Pat Neshek
pitched the final two frames.
"The command is what we've always seen," Melvin said of Griffin. "Good
curveball, great touch, spinning the ball."
Another win on Sunday would give the A's their first nine-game winning streak
since a 10-game run in June 2006, the last season it made the playoffs.
The A's have won seven of eight matchups with Boston this season. The Red Sox
were 6-2 in the season series a year ago.
09/02 10:32:19 ET