Ortiz's milestone not enough to stop sweep

Ortiz's milestone not enough to stop sweep

Ortiz's milestone not enough to stop sweep
OAKLAND -- For the Red Sox, this will be remembered as the road trip when the bats went nearly silent. And it ended in perfectly fitting fashion -- a 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon.

Boston was swept in three games in Oakland and finished with a 2-5 mark on the West Coast swing. The one constant was the lack of offense. The Red Sox scored 14 runs over the seven games.

"Our offense has just been terrible. Don't want to sugarcoat it. It [stunk], basically," said Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross. "Our pitchers have been pitching their butts off and keeping us in games. We just can't seem to push anything across. Tough road trip."

David Ortiz did provide a highlight to remember in this one, cranking career home run No. 400 in the top of the fourth.

"I wish he could celebrate more," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "David's a team guy. He knows that's a great individual accomplishment; we all know that. But it's tarnished."

While there was hardly champagne flowing at Ortiz's locker following the game, he did take some time to appreciate the moment.

"It was in a big situation to tie the game," Ortiz said. "A lot of people were expecting that. It was just very exciting."

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, there wasn't a lot of excitement to go around.

"Yeah, pretty disappointing road trip," said Valentine. "We battled the whole way. We just didn't get those hits, and I really believe we will."

Aaron Cook, coming off a two-hit masterpiece against the Mariners, wasn't that spectacular in this one. But he did keep the Red Sox in the game, scattering nine hits and three runs over six-plus innings.

"There were like four or five [pitches] I left up," Cook said. "They're an aggressive team, so they hit those ones. The ones I was getting down, they were hitting on the ground and some of them got through for base hits. But with a team like that, I'm pitching to contact, and when you leave it up, they're going to hit it pretty hard. That's what happened."

The Red Sox will try to regroup Friday, when they host the Yankees for the start of a four-game series at Fenway Park. Boston enters that series 7 1/2 games behind New York in the American League East.

In the road-trip finale, the A's jumped out first. Brandon Moss continued his strong series against his former team by belting a solo homer to center against Cook to start the bottom of the second.

Ortiz's milestone home run -- No. 22 on the season -- tied the game at 1.

"I talked to him the other day and told him, 'Even though I don't want it to come against us, I really want to see you hit your 400th home run,' because he's just a class act," Moss said. "He's just so good for the game of baseball."

In the sixth, Ortiz started a two-out rally by drawing a walk. The Red Sox then got a break as second baseman Jemile Weeks bobbled a grounder by Jarrod Saltalamacchia for an error. Adrian Gonzalez capitalized on his team's opportunity, ripping a single up the middle to bring home Ortiz and give Boston a 2-1 lead.

This time, it was Oakland that rallied back. Moss hit a popup toward the third-base line in the sixth that third baseman Mauro Gomez and shortstop Mike Aviles lost in the sun. It fell in as a double, and it proved to be costly. Brandon Inge smoked a two-out double to right-center to tie the game at 2.

Once again, Boston's lack of firepower bought the opposition time to seize control of the game. Coco Crisp got the A's started in the seventh with a triple to right-center. That was all for Cook. Valentine went to lefty Andrew Miller. With the infield drawn in, Weeks drilled a single through the hole and into left for an RBI single, giving Oakland a 3-2 lead.

The Red Sox didn't come close to mounting a threat, going down 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth.

"I don't know," said Ortiz. "We're just not doing it. It's hard when you see our pitchers just pitching the way they've been and us not being able to score for them and give them that breathing [room]. We've got to do something."

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