BOSTON (AP) — Daric Barton didn't bat and barely got on the field. He still made the game-saving play.
Yoenis Cespedes drove in the go-ahead run on an infield single with the bases loaded in the 10th and Barton, playing first, cut down the potential tying run at third in the bottom of the inning as the Athletics averted a three-game sweep with a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
"He made a terrific play," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "That's a gutsy play. That's a play that if the runner gets over, they can win the game with a hit. A gutsy play."
Boston's Will Middlebrooks opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on the hit when center fielder Coco Crisp had the ball bounce away for an error.
With Barton playing in, guarding for a bunt, Jackie Bradley Jr. bounced it to first. Barton fired to third, cutting down Middlebrooks.
"My whole goal was obviously to get the guy at third whether it was a bunt or a ground ball to me," Barton said. "It feels good. I've learned to be ready. Anything can happen at any time, but I've learned to be ready when they call my name and go out there and do my job."
Barton came in when Josh Reddick left with a sprained ankle in the ninth.
Jim Johnson (3-2) then got Dustin Pedroia to bounce into a game-ending double play.
Middlebrooks was somewhat surprised and impressed by the play.
"I was breaking off the bat. I didn't know it was to his right, to his left or right at him. Unfortunately it was right at him," he said. "This is the big leagues. People are supposed to make plays like that. Normally you don't see a first baseman that far in, but he made a good play. Hats off to him."
Oakland closed a 10-game road trip 5-5 and avoided its second three-game sweep in its last four series. The Athletics were swept at home by Texas April 21-23.
"Barton makes a heck of a heads-up play to cut down Will going to third," Boston manager John Farrell said. "They're playing in. He's got to trust in his abilities. He throws a strike across the diamond to cut down Will."
A.J. Pierzynski hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who failed to reach .500 for the first time since the fourth game of the season.
Jed Lowrie had a two-out double off Chris Capuano (1-1) and after the bases were loaded with an intentional and regular walk, Cespedes beat out a slow roller to third against reliever Burke Badenhop.
Johnson also got a double-play grounder by Jonny Gomes to end the ninth.