A's make Sale work, but fall short in finale
BOSTON -- The A's took a loss on Wednesday, but they happily deemed their stay in Boston a win.
After taking two straight from the Red Sox, the A's fell short, 6-4, in the finale, despite getting homers from Marcus Semien, Matt Joyce and Matt Olson and working Red Sox ace Chris Sale for two runs and 102 pitches in five innings.
"There's a couple ways to skin a cat sometimes," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's the type of guy that you're not going to get a ton of hits off, but we made him throw enough pitches to get him out of the game and give ourselves a chance."
The A's 4-2 season record against Boston is their best since 2012, when they pulled off an 8-1 showing.
"I don't know what they thought about us before, but I'm sure they respect us now," Semien said. "We just need to carry that over, no matter who we play. I mean, this is one of the best teams in the league, so just continue to do what we do."
Right-hander Trevor Cahill, back from the disabled list after missing one start with a minor elbow impingement, was done in by a three-run, 35-pitch first inning that featured a two-run homer off the bat of J.D. Martinez.
Cahill rebounded to complete five innings, retiring each of his final nine batters, but the A's were unable to pull ahead in that time. They came close, though. Semien launched a two-run homer over the Green Monster with one out in the fifth inning off Sale to get within one run.
"I thought he pitched well," Melvin said of Cahill. "Had a rough first inning but recovered well enough to give us five and keep us in the game against a guy you're typically not going to score a whole lot off of."
"The first was rough," Cahill said, "but after that, I was mixing it up and threw a lot more sliders than I did the last outing. Changeup wasn't as good, but we were able to get through five at least. After the first, you're just trying to keep the team in it, and we had some good at-bats off Sale. It made it a manageable game."
The Red Sox distanced themselves yet again in the sixth courtesy of Xander Bogaerts' three-run homer opposite Ryan Dull -- "Hung a slider middle-in, which he typically doesn't do," Melvin said -- and were in prime position to do more damage until right fielder Stephen Piscotty made a highlight-reel grab to end the inning.
Solo homers by Joyce in the seventh -- his third home run in his last five games -- and Olson in the ninth couldn't close the gap.
A challenging swing through the East Coast has the A's sitting at 3-3 on this road trip, with a four-game series in Toronto on deck.
The A's are 12-5 in interdivisional play, compared to 9-17 against the American League West.
HE SAID IT
"Those guys. Get them out of here. The quality of the at-bats, I was just telling somebody, that was uncomfortable, the way they foul off pitches. Even with two strikes, they're doing damage. They kept fouling off fastballs, putting together good at-bats." -- Red Sox manager Alex Cora, on the A's
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Piscotty's acrobatic catch in the sixth inning nearly wasn't, when a foul ball was initially ruled on the play. Replay officials overturned the call, deciding what Piscotty knew all along -- he maintained secure possession of the ball while stumbling into the stands.
UP NEXT Right-hander Andrew Triggs will be on the mound when the A's open a four-game series in Toronto on Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 4:07 p.m. PT on MLB Network. Triggs has a 6.94 ERA in his last five starts, after posting a 2.87 ERA in his first three outings. Toronto will counter with right-hander Aaron Sanchez (2-3, 4.08 ERA).