BOSTON – Big Papi almost looks as if he never missed all that time.
David Ortiz had two hits and drove in a run, Stephen Drew hit a two-run triple, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 on Wednesday.
“When you consider eight months down and I don’t know how many at-bats he’s had, 15 or so and you consider the number of hits he’s compiled, it is impressive,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “He’s got such good plate coverage. Against lefties he goes the other way for a double and hits one through the hole.
“He’s pretty amazing to watch and he runs the bases well. There’s no issues as far as his intensity as well — as he’s run with. He’s really given us a lift in the middle of the order.”
It was Boston’s ninth win in 12 games and came after a 13-0 loss to Oakland a night earlier.
Ortiz is 8 for 16 since returning to the lineup on Saturday for the first time since last August. He missed 71 of the final 72 games last season and all of spring training with an Achilles tendon injury.
But he doesn’t feel that well yet.
“I’m not really concerned with getting injured,” he said. “But there’s still some concern because I’m not 100 percent yet.”
Ortiz has multiple hits in three of his four games.
“I work, man. I work. I’m old enough to know what I need to do to stay there,” he said. “Right now I’m not where I want to be, so I’m not trying to juice some balls. I’m trying to stay with what they give me. You see how they pitch me. I got to be patient.”
Chris Young had a three-run homer and a solo shot for the Athletics, who finished a six-game trip 1-5. They were swept at the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend.
Jon Lester (4-0) got the win despite walking a season-high six and lasting just 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two more than he had in his previous four starts.
Oakland was hurt by another rough start by Brett Anderson.
Anderson (1-4) was hit hard for the third straight start, giving up six runs on eight hits in four-plus innings. In the last three, he’s been tagged for 17 runs in 10 2/3 innings.
“It just seems like he’s out of sync at times,” Manager Bob Melvin said. “Just for whatever reasons at times, he loses his command, he gets behind. It looked like that was a little bit of the issue today.”
Anderson just feels like he needs to do anything to change his luck.
“I’ve just got to go out there and maybe help a grandma cross a street or burn my locker or something like that,” he said, “and get some better mojo going, because I’m a better pitcher than that.”
Andrew Bailey struck out all three batters in the ninth for his fifth save.
It was Lester’s 89th career win, matching Babe Ruth for fifth in club history by left-handers.
The Red Sox broke a 3-all tie and chased Anderson with a three-run fifth. Jacoby Ellsbury opened the inning with an infield hit and scored on Shane Victorino’s double. Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield hit and Ortiz followed with an RBI single. Chris Resop relieved and hit Mike Napoli with the first pitch before Daniel Nava had a pinch-hit single. After Will Middlebrooks flied out, Jerry Blevins entered and retired the final two batters, leaving the bases loaded.
Lester was pulled with the bases loaded in the sixth, but Junichi Tazawa got Coco Crisp to fly out.
Josh Donaldson’s RBI single made it 6-4 and Young’s second homer cut it to one in the eighth.
The Athletics went ahead with three runs against Lester in the fourth on Young’s homer that caromed off a billboard above the Green Monster seats, but Boston tied it with three in the bottom of the inning.
Ortiz, back in the lineup after getting Tuesday off, doubled leading off and scored on Napoli’s double. Jonny Gomes walked and, one out later, Drew tripled into the right-field corner.
NOTES: The Red Sox optioned right-hander Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Boston made the move following Wednesday’s 6-5 victory against Oakland and one day after Aceves had a dismal outing in a 13-0 loss to the Athletics.
Aceves allowed eight runs, seven earned, and seven hits in 3 1⁄3 innings. He walked four and committed a pair of balks before he was pulled.
Aceves also made a throwing error after failing to cover first in time as the A’s capitalized on Boston’s blunders while the conditions deteriorated in a steady, blowing rain.
He is 1-1 with an 8.66 ERA in five games.
There was no word on a corresponding roster move, although the Boston Globe reported that the team plans on calling up catcher Ryan Lavarnway from Pawtucket.