Miley's escapes help Red Sox edge Gray, A's

Miley's escapes help Red Sox edge Gray, A's

OAKLAND -- The Red Sox scored their runs on a bloop single and an error, but it proved to be enough in a 2-0 victory over the Athletics on Wednesday in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Lefty Wade Miley fired 6 2/3 scoreless innings for Boston, and he left with a 1-0 lead.

"He was outstanding," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He was resilient. The first three innings, they get a number of guys in scoring position with less than two outs. A leadoff triple, second and third with less than two outs, and he never gave in. He got some quick outs."

Sonny Gray was magnificent for the A's, allowing three hits and a run over seven innings, walking none and striking out nine. The run came on Daniel Nava's single in the second. For Nava, the hit snapped an 0-for-20 drought.

There were no more runs in the game until the eighth, when Dustin Pedroia hit a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop and Marcus Semien threw it away, allowing Nava to score from second. The play was ruled a hit and an error, with no RBI for Pedroia. More >

Nava scores on an error

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Miley works out of trouble: Though Miley didn't give up a run, it couldn't be classified as a dominant performance. Instead, the lefty deserves credit for wiggling out of trouble all day. The Athletics had a runner in scoring position in six of the seven innings in which Miley pitched. Miley scattered five hits and walked four, while notching just one strikeout.

"From the first inning on, I felt like I never had a super-good feel for my fastball," said Miley. "I was just trying to nibble away with breaking stuff, changeups, trying to mix speeds and use it when I could. The defense made some outstanding plays to get me out of jams." More >

Coco getting in sync: Coco Crisp snapped a season-opening 0-for-26 streak with a single in the fifth (0-for-39 dating to last September). He also added two highlight-worthy catches in left field that helped keep the A's close. More >

Crisp's diving catch in left

Nava breaks out of slump: Nava made the start at first base in place of Mike Napoli, and he got some much-needed results. Not only did he put the Red Sox ahead with his bloop single early in the game, but he started an eight-inning rally with another single and wound up scoring an insurance run. Nava was robbed of a third hit on a fine diving catch by Crisp in the fifth and drew a walk in the ninth.

"It doesn't matter how it falls, as long as it falls," Nava said of his RBI single. "Whether it was me or anyone else in the lineup, to have someone in scoring position and for it to fall is something we'll take." More >

Nava's RBI single

Gray is golden: Gray retired the final 13 batters he faced. He's allowed two or fewer runs in each of his past four outings, and he has seven quality starts among his eight this season. Hanley Ramirez was the only runner who ventured beyond first base against him. Meanwhile, the A's were 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position, and they stranded a runner on third with fewer than two outs in each of the first three innings.

QUOTABLE
"It was horrible offense. When we get guys in scoring position, we've got to get them in. Marcus tripled to open an inning. That run can't stay at third. We have to do a better job." -- A's outfielder Josh Reddick

Melvin on offensive struggles

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Miley apparently likes living out of a suitcase. Since the start of the 2013 season, the lefty has a 3.38 ERA in 40 road games. Over that same period of time, his ERA at home is 5.14.

WHAT'S NEXT
Red Sox: Right-hander Joe Kelly will try to overcome his recent struggles when he opens a four-game series for the Red Sox on Thursday night at Safeco Field. The Mariners counter with lefty Roenis Elias. FIrst pitch is at 10:10 p.m. ET.

Athletics: Designated hitter Billy Butler enjoys White Sox pitching, tallying 18 homers and 91 RBIs in his career (his most against any team). He'll try to help get the A's some momentum as they host Chicago on Friday at 7:05 p.m. PT. Semien faces his former team for the first time.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.