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Boston bats sputter in 4-2 loss to A's

Associated Press Modified: May 2, 2012 at 11:16 pm •  Published: May 2, 2012
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BOSTON (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez's two chances to rally the Red Sox late ended in disappointment.

He wasn't alone.

The Red Sox struggled throughout the night to get runners on base, then failed to deliver once they reached in a 4-2 loss to the Athletics on Wednesday night.

Gonzalez went 0-for-4, striking out with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh, then grounded out with a runner on third after the Red Sox had pulled within two runs.

"This game is all on me. I had two great opportunities and I didn't come through," Gonzalez said. "I should have come through one of those times and I just wasn't able to. I feel great physically. I'm not tired at all. I just didn't come through. It won't happen again."

As much as he wanted to shoulder the blame, Gonzalez had plenty of company. The Red Sox finished with just eight hits, leaving 11 runners on base and going 0-for-13 with runners in scorning position.

The only high point was third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who made his major league debut with a pair of hits, starting with an infield single in the fifth.

"I was like, Man, I wish I got a real hit.' The next at-bat went a little better," said Middlebrooks, who lined a double to right in the seventh.

Middlebrooks also walked in the first and finished 2-for-3, giving him a .667 average in the majors.

"The first two innings I was still in la-la land. About the third inning I realized hey, it's just like every other game. Just more people watching," he said. "I kind of was able to settle in and get comfortable."

As was Oakland's Brandon McCarthy, who held Boston to one run over 6 2-3 innings.

Seth Smith drove in a pair of runs for Oakland. The A's, who started the day with the majors' worst batting average and fewest runs in the AL, took two of three games from the Red Sox.

Boston has lost seven of its last eight in Fenway Park.

McCarthy (2-3) allowed five hits, walked three and fanned four. He improved to 8-0 with a 3.34 ERA since 2009 against AL East clubs.

Brian Fuentes gave up Dustin Pedroia's RBI double in the ninth, but got his first save.

Daniel Bard (2-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Middlebrooks was called up earlier in the day when Kevin Youkilis was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained lower back, went 2 for 3 with a double and a stolen base in his first major league game.

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