OAKLAND, Calif. — Seth Smith hit a two-run homer, Stephen Drew hit a solo shot for his first clout since joining Oakland, and the Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 6-2 on Sunday for their season-best ninth straight win.

Brett Anderson (3-0) won his third straight start since returning from a 14-month absence to recover from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, a big boost for the AL wild-card leading A’s down the stretch after losing Bartolo Colon to a 50-game suspension Aug. 22.

Josh Reddick added a sacrifice fly, and Yoenis Cespedes drove in a run with a groundout as Oakland (76-57) moved into a tie with the New York Yankees for the second-best record in the American League behind the two-time reigning AL champion Texas Rangers (79-54).

This is the club’s longest winning run since 10 in a row from June 8-18, 2006, the last year the A’s reached the playoffs.

Oakland has 29 games left, including seven against Texas.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4) had another rough day in the right-hander’s second straight short start at the Oakland Coliseum. On July 2, Dice-K allowed five runs in one-plus inning while dealing with a stiff neck. This time, he was tagged for six runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked four in his second-shortest outing after that previous start here.