BOSTON (AP) -- A triple and the game-winning run in his debut. The go-ahead home run in his second game.
No doubt about it: Jason Bay is setting expectations high in Boston."It's the same game," Bay said after his first home run with the Red Sox helped Boston cruise to a 12-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.
• Kevin Youkilis homered twice for his fourth career multi-homer game. He also reached 20 homers for the first time in his career.
• Jon Lester improved to 7-0 in his last 10 starts.
• The A's lost their fifth straight and have scored 10 runs total in those five games.
-- ESPN.com research
"Regardless of what jersey I'm wearing, it's the same game I've played my entire life."Bay drilled a 3-1 pitch from Oakland starter Dana Eveland over the Green Monster, a three-run shot that gave the Red Sox a 5-2 lead in the first inning."It was the last thing on my mind, which is usually the case when you hit a home run," Bay said.Bay, acquired from Pittsburgh in the three-team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, finished 1-for-4 and has reached base safely in six of his first 11 at-bats with Boston.Kevin Youkilis added a pair of two-run homers. His first tied the game 2-2 in the first inning and was the second of five straight hits for the Red Sox."It's certainly great to see a ball leave the ballpark but he hasn't sold out his swing to home runs," Francona said. "He's covering the plate and I think that's just a byproduct of a lot of good swings."After getting swept by the Angels earlier in the week, the Red Sox have won two in a row.For the fifth consecutive time and eighth in his last nine starts, Jon Lester (10-3) went at least seven innings for the Red Sox.After a shaky first in which he gave up four hits and a two-run homer to Emil Brown, Lester settled down and only allowed three more hits while striking out five over seven innings. His last loss came May 25 in Oakland."He had to fight a little to find it," Francona said. "Putting up nine will help, though. [It] gives somebody a little breathing room."Oakland has dropped five in a row and is 2-12 since the All-Star break.Eveland (7-8) lasted just two innings and gave up nine runs, though he hasn't gotten much help even when he does pitch well. The A's have scored two runs or fewer in 12 of Eveland's 22 starts, and he's 0-8 when that happens."His command in the strike zone just wasn't there," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "When he did throw strikes, they weren't at the right locations. There's no doubt he struggled tonight."After a leadoff double by Mike Lowell in the third, Bay drew a walk and J.D. Drew singled. Jed Lowrie, who had the winning hit Friday night, cleared the bases with a double down the right-field line. Lenny DiNardo relieved Eveland and surrendered a double to Jason Varitek to give the Red Sox a 9-2 lead.Lowrie added to the lead on Coco Crisp's run-scoring hit in the fifth. Youkilis made it 12-2 with his second homer in the eighth, his third multihomer game of the season.
Lowell was back in the lineup and hitting cleanup after leaving Friday night's contest in the 10th inning with a right hip strain. Lowell said before the game that he only feels pain when he runs and he "might get some type of injection in a couple of days." ... Geren said before the game that he would be going to a closer-by-committee approach. "The way [Jerry] Blevins is throwing and [Brad] Ziegler is throwing, I could potentially use anybody in any situation right now," Geren said. "I don't want to say that [Huston Street is no longer the closer]. It might be more how well the other two guys are doing." Over his last 14 outings, Street is 1-3 with three blown saves and a 5.51 ERA. ... Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo, currently on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps, ran sprints before the game.