for this game

Bay an immediate hit as Red Sox outlast Athletics

Aug 2, 2008 - 4:48 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Jason Bay made quite the impression on his new Boston Red Sox teammates.

In his first game since being acquired from Pittsburgh in a three-way deal for Manny Ramirez, Bay tripled with two outs and scored the winning run in the bottom of the 12th on Jed Lowrie's infield single as the Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics, 2-1, in their first game in eight years without Manny Ramirez.

We won a game we desperately tried to win," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who held a team meeting before batting practice. "Everybody gave everything they had. We didn't have a lot to show for it. Neither team, offensively, was doing a whole lot but because we're home and because our guys pitched, we gave ourselves a chance."

Lowrie, who left the bases loaded in the 10th, came through with an infield chopper over the glove of reliever Alan Embree (1-4), with Bay scoring the winning run when Lowrie just beat the throw from shortstop Bobby Crosby.

"(Crosby) got the in-between hop," Francona said. "Once it crawled up his glove a little bit, it gave us a chance. We were all helping him get down the line."

Mark Ellis had two hits for Oakland, which lost its fourth straight and fell to 2-11 since the All-Star break.

"(Crosby) was coming in full speed and it was a close play at first. It was a tough play," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "You've got to come in. It was just perfectly placed."

Bay nearly ended the game in the 12th when his fly ball to left landed high off the "Green Monster" and he had to settle for a triple.

"On the triple, just the last inning, it was just two outs and I was trying to get on," Bay said. "(A home run) was the last thing on my mind and it turned out to be in a good spot. If it was a double, we might still be out there."

Following the triple, J.D. Drew was intentionally walked to force Lowrie into the hero's role.

"We all kind of jumped up on the top step and that's one of those ones where if it's in another park it's probably an out but he'll learn about the 'Monster' pretty quick," Lowrie said of Bay's near game-ending home run.

Bay walked twice and scored in his first at-bat and made a sliding grab in left field to highlight his first night at Fenway Park.

Receiving a standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd, Bay walked on five pitches in his first at-bat in the second inning and scored when Lowrie lofted a fly to the warning track in left. Bay was also hit by a pitch in the fourth and struck out twice.

"The ovation was a little unexpected, especially the pregame announcement and then at the plate, I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to do with that," Bay said. "It was very flattering. I hadn't even played an inning yet and to get that ovation was a pretty nice little welcome."

Following that run that gave Boston a 1-0 lead, the starting pitchers took over.

Oakland's Justin Duchscherer worked out of jams in the third, fourth and fifth but held the new-look Red Sox lineup to one run.

"Duchscherer was as good as he could pitch," Geren said. "I thought he was right on the plate or just off. He really didn't get himself in any trouble. (Boston starter Tim) Wakefield's ball was really moving a lot early. You could tell by some of the swings that his ball was moving."

Looking for just his second win since June 25, Wakefield scattered four hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

The A's finally forced Wakefield out of the game in the seventh. With one out, Mark Ellis singled and Jack Hannahan walked. Manny Delcarmen came in and got Bobby Crosby to fly out to left and Daric Barton on a comebacker to end the threat.

Hideki Okajima retired the first two batters of the eighth before Jack Cust lofted a 3-2 pitch to left field that landed on the ledge in front of the "Green Monster" seats to tie the game. The umpires originally ruled a double before conferring and changing the call to a home run, Cust's 20th of the season.

After giving up a leadoff hit, Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth and 10th, Javier Lopez worked the 11th and Mike Timlin (4-3) the 12th.

A's righthander Brad Ziegler worked his way out of a ninth-inning jam. The Red Sox had runners on first and second and one out but Jacoby Ellsbury ground out and Dustin Pedroia flew out to center to extend Ziegler's scoreless innings streak to a rookie record 32 innings.

"It's hard to get frustrated when you played as good as you did," Geren said. "They played great. They played hard, pitched well and guys battled. Losing is never accepted or fun but it's hard to get frustrated as well as everybody pitched. I'm really proud of the guys."

The Red Sox loaded the bases in the 10th against Huston Street but Lowrie flew out to center on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat. Mike Lowell started the rally with a two-out infield single to third but had to leave when he strained his right hip running down the first base line.