BOSTON – The Oakland Athletics didn’t hide their feelings over being able to rebound so nicely after such a bad loss.

Scott Sizemore and Josh Willingham each hit two-run homers during a six-run fourth inning that carried the Oakland Athletics to a 15-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday, one day after they lost 22-9 at Yankee Stadium and allowed a major league-record three grand slams.

“It’s a huge lift,” winning pitcher Gio Gonzalez said. “It’s stopping the bleeding right away and not letting it spiral out of control.”

Like Thursday in New York, the Athletics opened a big lead early. The difference was they kept scoring and held down the hot hitting Red Sox.

“I think it’s good,” said second baseman Jemile Weeks, who had three hits and scored three runs, of the team’s rebound. “I think we came out and set a tone. We started out great in New York and they pounded us in that game.”

Tim Wakefield was again denied in a bid for his 200th career victory.

Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz hit consecutive homers for Boston, which opened a nine-game homestand after going 6-2 on a recent trip through Texas and Kansas City.

Wakefield (6-6), trying for the sixth time to become the 108th pitcher to reach 200 wins, gave up eight runs — four earned — on eight hits, walking two and striking out three. He’s 0-3 with a 4.97 ERA during the six games.

“Not a real good night (for Wakefield). Kind of an inconsistent knuckleball tonight — some he threw so well and had sharp break and then some were up,” Boston Manager Terry Francona said. “Then it looked like we get the third out and the ball gets by (Jarrod Saltalamacchia) because it is moving and they tack on four more, so just kind of a rough night all the way around.”

Cliff Pennington also had three hits, and Willingham drove in four runs for the Athletics, who won for the seventh time in nine road games after losing 30 of their previous 37 away from home.

Gonzalez (11-11) gave up four runs and seven hits, striking out five and walking three in 52/3 innings for his second straight win after losing five in a row. He picked up just his third road win in 10 decisions.

Leading 2-1 in the fourth, the Athletics scored six runs — four coming after Saltalamacchia’s passed ball on Weeks’ strikeout with two outs.

“I think that’s my biggest disappointment, knowing that we had a doubleheader (today) and I was only able to go four innings,” Wakefield said.

Sizemore started the scoring with a home run into the last row of Green Monster seats in left, making it 4-1. After Weeks fanned but reached first, Coco Crisp walked before Hideki Matsui doubled both home with a drive off the center-field wall. Willingham then homered into the Monster seats, his 23rd, making it 8-1.

Boston outfielder Darnell McDonald pitched the ninth, allowing Willingham’s two-run double after walking the first two batters.

For a while it looked as though it could be similar to Thursday afternoon in New York when Oakland opened a 7-1 lead before its pitching staff was pounded.

Boston answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth on consecutive homers by Pedroia and Ortiz.

Pedroia’s was his 17th, tying his career high set in 2008 when he won the AL MVP award. Jacoby Ellsbury tripled and scored in the fifth.

The Red Sox had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth, but Gonzalez got McDonald to pop to second. Brian Fuentes relieved and Ellsbury fouled weakly to third. Boston stranded two more in the seventh. Oakland ended any likelihood of a comeback by scoring four in the eighth against Matt Albers, opening a 13-4 lead.

NOTES: Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford didn’t play, getting a night off to rest before playing both ends of today’s doubleheader. “He was cramping up a little bit (Thursday),” said Francona.


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