Sweeping success: A's cruise past Red Sox

Sweeping success: A's cruise past Red Sox

Sweeping success: A's cruise past Red Sox
OAKLAND -- Add 'em up at the end of the season. Wins, that is. Then take a look at the standings.

If A's manager Bob Melvin had it his way, all of his players would follow suit, rather than admiring their placing on any given day.

But you can't blame Oakland for wanting to take a peek, particularly up -- where just one team now sits ahead of them in the American League.

That's right. After running their winning streak to nine games in a 6-2 triumph over the Red Sox on Sunday at The Coliseum, the A's are tied with the Yankees for the second-best record (76-57) in the AL, with the Rangers just three games ahead of them and 29 to play.

"That's crazy," starter Brett Anderson said. "If you had predicted that early on, I don't know if anyone would've believed it. But everything's working well -- offense, defense, pitching, and when that's happening, good things are going to happen."

"It's what we've done this whole streak," Josh Reddick said. "Everyone is contributing."

The streak is tied for eighth longest in Oakland history. And should the A's extend it to 10 games Monday in the first of a pivotal three-game set against the Angels, it would mark the longest since June 2006, when they won 10 in a row.

At this point, it's hard to imagine anything stopping them from doing so, what with a Major League-best 39-15 ledger since the start of July that has propelled them to a season-high 19 games above .500.

"We're playing well right now, obviously," Melvin said. "I think winning those last two games in [St. Petersburg] was big for us, and following that up with four good ones in Cleveland, we rode that momentum here."

The slumping Red Sox just happened to be their latest victim.

Anderson surrendered just one run in six innings to a Boston team that was outscored 33-5 during the three-game set.

It marked the southpaw's third start of a shortened season that was previously defined by Tommy John surgery rehab. In that time, he's allowed just two runs, 11 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts.

"This all makes [the rehab] worthwhile," Anderson said. "It couldn't be going better right now. You always gotta be confident, and I don't know if this amount of success would be had so quickly, but I thought I could come back and pitch well if I was healthy, and I've been able to do that and hopefully continue to from here on out."

"To give us three games with that type of performance, coming into the later part of the season, and pitching in key games and not just getting ready for next season, it's all really impressive," Melvin said.

Away from the mound, Oakland's bats proved equally devastating. Facing Daisuke Matsuzaka, the A's tagged the righty for two runs before tallying an out, thanks to Seth Smith's two-run homer -- his 13th of the season -- that followed a leadoff walk to Coco Crisp.

The homer-happy A's got another long ball in the second from Stephen Drew, who launched a one-out homer over the right-field wall. It marked his first with Oakland and 13th by the A's over the last four games, their most over a four-game span since May 10-13, 2007, when they also had 13.

Matsuzaka would last only 3 2/3 innings, but not before surrendering another two runs in the third. Crisp again walked, stole second, moved to third on Smith's single and scored on Josh Reddick's sacrifice fly. Drew added an RBI base hit later in the inning, and in the eighth he collected a double to fall a triple short of the cycle.

"This is a key day for him, hit the ball to all fields," Melvin said. "I've talked often about when you first get to a team it's nice to have some success to where you feel like you're part of it that much more quickly. Today's one of those days, where the white shoes look a little shinier and feel a little better."

In 9 1/3 innings against Red Sox starters, the A's managed 17 runs, 20 hits and six walks.

"They played well," Boston's Dustin Pedroia acknowledged. "They have a lot of energy, they swing the bats great, a lot of confidence, good pitching. They're one of the best teams we've seen."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.