Ellis hits for cycle as the A’s beat Red Sox
Eric Chavez hit a two-out homer in the 11th inning, and Mark Ellis hit for the cycle as the Oakland Athletics recovered from Boston’s dramatic ninth-inning rally for a tumultuous 5-4 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night.
Chavez left no doubt on his eighth homer of the season, this one against Kyle Snyder (1-1), ending a game with a homer for only the second time in his career. Santiago Casilla (1-0) earned his first major league victory for the A’s, who won three straight for the first time since mid-April.
Dan Haren dazzled the Red Sox with nine strikeouts during 7 2/3 innings of four-hit ball, but pinch-hitter Jason Varitek and Wily Mo Pena hit run-scoring singles against Alan Embree in the ninth to tie it for Boston.
Ellis then hit for the cycle for the first time in his career, completing the sixth cycle in Oakland history with a broken-bat bloop single in the 10th inning. Ellis hit a two-run triple in the second and a solo homer in the fourth, adding a double in the sixth.
David Ortiz hit his first homer in 19 games and added doubles in the ninth and 10th innings for the Red Sox, who didn’t arrive in the Bay Area until dawn after losing two of three to the Yankees at Fenway Park over the weekend.
So Boston was exhausted even before this 225-minute epic, which featured a masterful start by Haren, an improbable Red Sox recovery and several additional nail-biting moments. The Red Sox lost for the fourth time in five games, their worst stretch of an otherwise outstanding season for the club with the majors’ best record.
After Embree blew the save, the A’s loaded the bases with none out in the ninth -- but Boston survived when J.C. Romero struck out Chavez and then induced a 5-2-3 double play on Bobby Crosby’s grounder to Kevin Youkilis.
Ortiz, whose double started the ninth-inning rally, hit a two-out double off the top of the center-field wall in the 10th. But Mark Kotsay barehanded it, and the relay throw to Jason Kendall easily cut down Dustin Pedroia, who attempted to score from first.
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