Even with a runner on second and an open base at first, Coco Crisp fully expected Boston closer Koji Uehara to come right after him.
For the second straight game, Oakland’s speedy leadoff hitter guessed right.
Crisp singled in Alberto Callaspo with one out in the 10th inning and the Athletics beat the Red Sox 2-1 on Saturday to extend their winning streak to five games.
“I was taking the approach they were going to come right after me,” said Crisp, who also drove in the game-winning run during Friday’s 4-3 win. “I didn’t want to wait around for the splitter so I was hoping that he would come in to what I was looking for, and he did. Another lucky guess.”
It’s the second game-ending hit for Crisp this season and seventh of his career. It also took Oakland off the hook after Boston’s Dustin Pedroia scored the tying run in the eighth following a controvesial call that resulted in the ejection of A’s manager Bob Melvin.
Boston put runners on the corners with two outs when Oakland reliever Luke Gregerson appeared to strike out Mike Napoli. Napoli argued that he fouled the ball off the dirt, and home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott agreed although television replays appeared to indicate otherwise.
The umpiring crew met to discuss the play before upholding the original call.
Under the current replay system, balls and strikes are not reviewable.
“The plate umpire heard sound and thought the ball hit the ground and called it a foul ball,” said crew chief Gerry Davis. “This type of play happens quite often actually, it’s a difficult call for us. And in order to change it we have to positive (proof).”
Gregerson, who had celebrated the apparent strikeout, bounced his next pitch in front of home plate. The ball ricocheted off the chest protector of catcher Stephen Vogt and rolled toward the mound as Dustin Pedroia scored from third.
After Napoli flew out to end the inning, Melvin raced out from Oakland’s dugout and angrily confronted Wolcott before getting tossed.
“My feeling is that if there’s a play that needs to be reviewed, you should review it. You just can’t on that one,” Melvin said. “What I was told the call was was a foul ball that hit the dirt. And no one saw anything conclusive to overturn it. But after looking it, it was caught.”
The play prevented Oakland starter Jesse Chavez from winning his second straight start. Chavez took a no-hitter into the sixth and held the Red Sox scoreless through seven before giving way to the bullpen. He struck out four and walked four.
The A’s have won the first three games of this four-game series by a total of four runs.
Callaspo drew a leadoff walk against reliever Edward Mujica (2-3) in the 10th and was sacrificed to second. Uehara replaced Mujica before Crisp lined his first pitch into right field. Boston right fielder Brock Holt made a strong throw but Callaspo slid home with the game-winner.
“Coco being Coco,” Chavez said. “He did it last night and he did it again today.”
Boston was shut out for the first seven innings before Pedroia scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.
The Red Sox missed a chance to take the lead in the top of the 10th when Oakland reliever Dan Otero struck out David Ortiz with two on and two out.
“We’ve had situations get away from us in terms of men in scoring position,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “We’ve got to continue to build opportunities. Whether or not we cash in on those, that’s what we got to continue to focus on”
Boston starter Rubby De La Rosa nearly matched Chavez in his first career appearance against the A’s.
De La Rosa, who struck out four and walked four, retired the first six batters before Vogt’s triple off the extended wall in right-center.
Vogt scored on Alberto Callaspo’s sacrifice fly despite a stellar play by Holt, who had made a diving catch on Callaspo’s sinking liner in the gap in right-center then threw home.
Oakland managed only six runners over the next six innings until Callaspo’s leadoff walk in the 10th.
NOTES: The A’s are 7-2 on this homestand. … Melvin’s ejection is his first this season. … Boston’s Jon Lester (8-7) faces Oakland’s Tommy Milone (5-3) on Sunday in a battle of lefties. Lester had a career-high 15 strikeouts against the A’s on May 3. … Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who pitched for both franchises, threw out the first pitch. Eckersley currently works as a television analyst for the Red Sox.
Updated June 21, 2014