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Brown, Harden lead Athletics past Red Sox

Mar 26, 2008 - 4:33 PM TOKYO (Ticker) -- Emil Brown quickly atoned for his mistake.

Brown hit a three-run homer and Rich Harden pitched six strong innings Wednesday as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Boston Red Sox, 5-1, at the Tokyo Dome.

A day after essentially costing his team a game with a baserunning gaffe, Brown rebounded with a key third-inning blast off Boston starter Jon Lester (0-1) to highlight the Athletics' first win of the season.

"To be wanted makes you feel more comfortable when you play," said Brown, in his first season with Oakland after three years in Kansas City. "It relaxes you a little bit and lets your ability come out."

With Oakland trailing Boston, 6-4, in the 10th inning of Tuesday's season opener here, Brown tried to stretch an RBI double into a triple but was tagged out in a rundown - a blunder he took full responsibility for after the eventual 6-5 defeat.

While Brown made amends with his offensive punch, Harden (1-0) was sharp on the mound.

The righthander allowed just two hits before Manny Ramirez belted his first home run of the season in the sixth to cut Boston's deficit to 4-1.

"I want to give Rich credit," Ramirez said. "He pitched a great game. He's got a nasty split, his slider was working. He's got it all."

Harden, who had not allowed a Boston player to reach third base before Ramirez's mammoth shot to left, departed after six innings, having allowed a run, three hits and three walks while striking out nine.

"It did feel a little different pitching in Japan," Harden said. "It felt almost like a playoff game. But you just got to treat it like any other start."

Oakland relievers Santiago Casilla, Keith Foulke, Alan Embree each tossed an inning of scoreless relief to preserve the win for Harden, who appeared in just seven games last season due to arm troubles.

"I've had some bad luck the last couple of years," Harden said. "But it was great to be out there. You've got to focus on the team and put (the injuries) behind you."

The reigning World Series champions managed just five hits in the loss.

"We had a meeting before the game with (catcher) Kurt Suzuki and (pitching coach) Curt Young, talking about how we wanted to pitch them," Harden said. "Kurt Suzuki called the game. We really effectively mixed up our pitches."

Lester, who returned to the Red Sox last season after recovering from lymphoma, left after throwing 83 pitches through four innings. The southpaw allowed four runs, five hits and three walks while striking out four.

Chris Denorfia and Jeff Fiorentino each provided a two-out RBI singles in the win for Oakland, which salvaged a split of the season-opening two-game series in Japan.

Ramirez finished the series with five RBI, faring much better than teammate David Ortiz - the lefthanded slugger went 0-for-7 and left eight runners on base.

Both clubs will travel to California to complete their exhibition season before meeting again in the Athletics' home opener next Tuesday.






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    Red Sox 1, Athletics 5  FinalMar 27 12:33 AM
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    Red Sox 1, Athletics 5  FinalMar 26 5:09 PM
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    Red Sox 1, Athletics 5  FinalMar 26 12:25 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 0
    OAKLAND 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 x 5 9 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JON LESTER, DAVID AARDSMA (5TH), JAVIER LOPEZ (6TH), MANNY
    DELCARMEN (7TH), BRYAN COREY (8TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    OAK - RICH HARDEN, SANTIAGO CASILLA (7TH), KEI

    Mar 26 9:00 AM
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    Red Sox 1, Athletics 5  Top 9, 0 OutsMar 26 8:56 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FIORENTINO SCORED KURT SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FIORENTINO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    OAKLAND 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: T BUCK (.000, 0-FOR-4)

    Red Sox 1, Athletics 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsMar 26 8:51 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF RICH HARDEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, OAKLAND 4
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.333, 1-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 1, Athletics 4  Top 6, 0 OutsMar 26 7:54 AM
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    Red Sox 0, Athletics 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsMar 26 7:19 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY EMIL BROWN (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF JON LESTER SCORED MARK ELLIS AND MIKE SWEENEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0, OAKLAND 4
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CROSBY (.500, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 0, Athletics 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsMar 26 7:14 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS DENORFIA SCORED BOBBY CROSBY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C DENORFIA ON FIRST, K SUZUKI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: T BUCK (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 0, Athletics 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsMar 26 6:46 AM
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