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Athletics' bullpen unravels late

  • Oakland Athletics' John Jaso follows through on an RBI single off Boston Red Sox's John Lackey in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 12, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

There was a time earlier this season when the Boston Red Sox struggled to drive in runs with two outs.

Suddenly, that seems like a long time ago.

Dustin Pedroia hit a tie-breaking, two-run single in the eighth inning, and the Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Friday night in a matchup between the AL's top teams.

Brock Holt also drove in two runs — and also with two outs — in the second inning before the A's rallied. Eleven of Boston's last 13 runs have come with two outs.

"There's no secret," said Pedroia, who also made a run-saving stop at second base to start a double play in the sixth. "We've just been able to find ways to get that one pitch and make sure we don't miss it." John Lackey (7-6) overcame a season-high four walks in seven innings to carry the AL-leading Red Sox to their fourth straight victory. He allowed two runs and three hits while striking out five. He also hit a batter.


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