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Baby-Faced Brett Shuts Out Sox on Two Hits

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On the night he came home, the Boston Red Sox wish he hadn't.

Of course, they probably wish the kid on the mound had stayed back in Oakland, too.

Nomar Garciaparra's homecoming proved successful as he started a four-run fourth with an RBI-single, and Brett Anderson spun the A's first complete-game since last July 8 in the A's 6-0 win over the Red Sox.

No one had gone the distance without allowing a run against the Red Sox on their home turf this season, and no Athletic had turned the trick since Bobby Witt on July 3, 1994.

That all changed tonight as Anderson breezed through the Bostonians, owners of the best record in the American League.  He retired the side in order in every inning but two, and in those frames that the Red Sox dared to put runners on base, the left-hander left them stranded. With two men on and one out in the second, he got Rocco Baldelli to ground out into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.  In the seventh, following new "A" Scott Hairston's error, he induced fly ball outs off the bats of Jason Varitek and Baldelli to keep the Sox silent in the run column.

Meanwhile the A's were rather loud with the bats, punching out 15 hits, a day after collecting eleven in Cleveland.  Adam Kennedy and Mark Ellis led the knock-parade with three hits apiece.  Ten of the A's hits came off of starting pitcher John Smoltz, who took the loss.

It was an inauspicious start for the A's who had three hitters reach base in the first, but none of them found their way back home.  Which brings us to Nomar, who received a standing ovation from the Fenway Faithful before his first at-bat in Boston since the '04 season. His single in the fourth scored Jason Giambi following the latter's lead-off double.  Two outs later, Ellis doubled home Kurt Suzuki (who had reached base on a bunt single Nomar) and Garciaparra, and the Unicorn scooted to the plate on Kennedy's base hit.

The A's leadoff hitter stroked another RBI-single in the sixth to plate Hairston, who barely had enough time to meet his new teammates when he was put into the game to pinch-run for Jack Cust.

Orlando Cabrera finished off the scoring with a ninth-inning homerun, just as he did in yesterday's ball game.

Anderson took over from there, retiring the last six batters he faced, two on strikeouts, as he did Gio Gonzalez one better with a career-high nine strikeouts on the night.

A near-perfect evening for the A's, and it could not have happened in a better place.