The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

A's win fourth straight, edge Red Sox 4-3 to extend best record in majors

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OAKLAND, Calif. - Coco Crisp drove in Kyle Blanks with a two-out single in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Friday night.

Josh Donaldson hit a three-run home run, his first in two weeks, to help the A's extend their winning streak to four games. Oakland also owns the best record in the majors.

Boston reliever Andrew Miller (2-5) hit Blanks and Alberto Callaspo with back-to-back pitches with one out in the eighth. After Nick Punto struck out looking, Crisp lined a 2-2 pitch to right and Blanks easily scored ahead of the throw from Brock Holt.

Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his 10th save. The A's closer also extended his scoreless streak to 23 1/3 innings, the longest active mark in the AL.

Oakland only managed two hits off Boston starter Felix Doubront and had stranded eight runners before Crisp delivered the game-winner.

Fernando Abad (2-2) pitched one inning for the win.

The A's have won the first two of this series after dropping two of three to the Red Sox at Fenway Park last month.

Crisp entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and struck out against reliever Burke Badenhop.

Both teams squandered multiple scoring opportunities.

The Red Sox left two on in the fourth and failed to score after loading the bases in the fifth. The A's had two on in the third, fourth and seventh but stranded them each time.

Oakland starter Brad Mills struck out the side in the first before Boston loaded the bases with one out in the second following an error by Oakland second baseman Punto. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run single to drive in Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes.

It could have been worse.

A's centre fielder Craig Gentry made a diving catch on Holt's sinking liner, then threw to second to double off Stephen Drew.

Boston tied it on David Ortiz's RBI single in the third.

Mills, acquired in a trade from Milwaukee earlier in the week, had not pitched in the majors since 2012. He walked four and struck out four before leaving after pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

Donaldson's three-run homer off Doubront in the first was his first since June 6.

Doubront didn't allow another hit after that but left without a decision. He struck out four and walked four over 4 2-3 innings.

NOTES: Oakland C Derek Norris left the game in the sixth after getting hit by a bat on his left forearm during Craig Holt's at-bat. ... Craig Gentry reached base in the third inning after getting hit by a pitch. The play had to be reviewed by the umpires before being upheld. ... RHP Clay Buchholz (hyperextended knee) rejoined the big league club after making his second rehab appearance. Manager John Farrell has not set a date for Buchholz to return to the rotation, but it seems likely he'll start Wednesday in Seattle. ... Oakland optioned RHP Evan Scribner to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Mills. ... RHP Jesse Chavez (6-4), who was pushed back a day in the rotation to make room for Mills, pitches on Saturday. ... Boston RHP Rubby De La Rosa (2-2) makes his first career start against the A's.

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