Lackey solid again as Sox top A's
The former Angel beat the Oakland A's for the 19th time in his career, allowing three hits and two runs in seven innings and leading Boston to a 4-2 victory.
Lackey, who missed the entire 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, had a no-hitter through four innings and improved to 19-6 lifetime against the A's. He has more wins, starts (34) and innings pitched (220 2/3) against the A's than any other active pitcher. His winning percentage of .760 is the highest of any active pitcher with at least 15 decisions against Oakland.
The Red Sox improved to 58-37 -- the American League's best record -- and now have more wins before the All-Star Game break than any other team in Boston history. The A's fell to 54-39 but still have the AL's second best record.
A's right-hander Jarrod Parker allowed two run and three hits in seven innings but had his fourth straight no-decision. Parker's career-high-tying four-game winning streak is still intact, but he has not won a game since June 18 at Texas.
The Red Sox scored twice in the eighth, snapping a 2-2 tie. Jose Iglesias sliced a leadoff single to right off A's reliever Sean Doolittle, moved to second on Brock Holt's sacrifice bunt and reached third on Jacoby Ellsbury's groundout.
After Shane Victorino was hit in the right wrist by a Doolittle pitch, A's right-hander Ryan Cook came on to face Dustin Pedroia. Victorino stole second and Pedroia lined a two-run single to left.
Former A's closer Andrew Bailey threw a scoreless eighth for the Red Sox and Koji Uehara struck out the side in the ninth for his eighth save.
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Holt lined an opposite-field, two-run single to left with two outs, driving in Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava. Napoli led off with an infield single, Nava was hit by a pitch and both runners tagged and advanced when Parker retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a fly ball to left.
The A's sliced Boston's lead to 2-1 in the fifth. Designated hitter Seth Smith ripped a leadoff double off the left-field wall for the A's first hit of the game against Lackey (7-6) and scored on John Jaso's sharp single to right. The A's pulled even in the sixth when shortstop Jed Lowrie, a former Red Sox, hit a leadoff home run, lofting Lackey's 1-0 slider over the right-field fence.
The Red Sox made a trade Friday night to bolster their bullpen, acquiring Chicago White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton for Double-A outfielder Brandon Jacobs. To make room for Thornton on their 40-man roster, the Red Sox transferred left-hander Andrew Miller (left foot) from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Miller was injured Saturday in a game against the Angels and will undergo season-ending surgery, creating a need for a left-handed reliever.
Thornton, in his 10th major-league season, is 32-41 with a 3.53 ERA in 586 appearances, including one start. This year, he's 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 40 appearances. Jacobs, a 10th-round draft pick in 2009, hit 11 homers and drove in 44 runs for Class A Salem before a recent promotion to Portland.
Home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor had to leave the game during the top of the second inning after being hit hard in the mask with a Parker pitch that deflected off Nava. First base umpire Bill Miller, the crew chief, moved behind the plate.
NOTES: Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (right shoulder) threw a 30- to 35-pitch bullpen session on Friday and will throw another bullpen session on Sunday in Oakland instead of making a previously planned minor-league rehab start, Red Sox manager John Farrell said. The new plan calls for Buchholz to pitch a simulated game before making one rehab start. Buchholz will continue his rehab work next week in New York when he takes part in the All-Star Game festivities. "The most important thing is there's no issues shoulder-wise, any kind of discomfort," Farrell said. ... Red Sox RHP Brandon Workman will make his first major-league start on Sunday against the A's, Farrell said. Workman made his major-league debut on Wednesday. ... A's INF Adam Rosales, who was designated for assignment on Monday, cleared waivers and was sent to Triple-A Sacramento.