If your expectations were low heading into this game with Dana Eveland on the mound for the A's, you probably weren't disappointed too much. That's not to say his outing was good, but he did start off with a 1-2-3 first inning after Scott Hairston put the A's on top 1-0 with a blast to left.
It was all downhill from there for Eveland and the A's.
Second inning: leadoff homer by Jason Bay followed by a double, single and a walk. Only Nick Green's double play, in which Orlando Cabrera tagged Jason Varitek before throwing to first though a run scored, helped keep that inning from being even worse.
Third inning: double and a walk, and though Eveland had a chance to get out of the inning unscathed he lost command before Varitek hit a full-count, two-run, two-out single up the middle to extend the lead to 4-1 before Edgar Gonzalez got Green to fly out.
Josh Beckett cruised until a two-out double by Adam Kennedy plated Ryan Sweeney in the fifth, but Gonzalez gave that run back in the bottom of the sixth, leading to the 5-2 final as the bullpens closed it out. Jonathan Papelbon finished for the save as the rain finally started to fall. Beckett worked into the seventh for the win.
The A's were fortunate to get the complete game from Brett Anderson last night because any way you looked at it the first part of the game was going to be taken up by Eveland and Gonzalez in some way with the rest of the bullpen getting a little action. Eveland was pitching on short rest with Gonzalez ready to take over sooner or later and based on Eveland's line of 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB and 2 K (3.38 WHIP in a small size) and needing 61 pitches to get five more outs after just 10 in the first, he still doesn't inspire much confidence in his ability to get Major League hitters out enough to be a quality pitcher at this level. Granted, he was only brought up because he's on the 40-man roster and they needed someone to try to get through a few innings, but it still wasn't a good performance.
On offense, there wasn't much the A's did all night. Nobody had more than one hit and they only drew one walk against Red Sox pitching. Jason Giambi continues to look overmatched, striking out three times and grounding into a double play as his average dipped to .195. At this point I'm not buying his excuse that he'll heat up when the weather does. There's more going on with him than just cooler temperatures.
One good thing we can say about tomorrow's series finale: the A's won't be trying to avoid being swept!