OAKLAND, Calif. — Danny Valencia raced home from first base when Boston Red Sox left fielder Brock Holt bobbled Khris Davis’ double in the left field corner in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, allowing the Oakland Athletics to record a 1-0 victory over the American League East contender.
The defeat ended a three-game winning streak for the Red Sox, who had blitzed the A’s 16-2 and 11-2 in the first two games of the series.
The loss also dropped Boston (76-60) out of first place in the AL East. The Toronto Blue Jays (77-59), a winner at Tampa Bay earlier Sunday, moved a game ahead of the Red Sox.
Red Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel faced just two batters in the ninth after taking over from Eduardo Rodriguez, who pitched 7 2/3 innings of no-hit ball.
Kimbrel (2-4) walked Valencia, the first batter he faced, before Davis hooked a shot toward the left field foul pole.
Holt played the ball off the fence, but bobbled it momentarily, prompting A’s third base coach Ron Washington to send Valencia to the plate. He made it easily.
Ryan Madson (5-4), who pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, got the win.
Rodriguez carried his no-hitter two outs into the eighth inning, then got Marcus Semien to ground one toward the middle of the diamond.
The left-hander, facing third base after his follow-through from the pitch, stuck out his right leg behind him and knocked the grounder down.
Rodriguez quickly retrieved the ball and threw to first, where umpire Laz Diaz called Semien out.
A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged the call, and it was quickly reversed on review.
Rodriguez retired Jake Smolinski on a grounder back to the mound to end the inning, and then was pulled before the start of the ninth. He allowed one hit in eight innings, walking two and striking out five.
A’s starter Kendall Graveman was nearly as good. He pitched 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing six hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Graveman gave up a one-out single by Yoan Moncada in the seventh and a walk to No. 9 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr., ending his day.
Ryan Dull came on to get Dustin Pedroia on a flyball to left and Xander Bogaerts on a pop-up to shortstop to keep the game scoreless.
Davis and Semien had the only two hits for the A’s, who haven’t been no-hit since July 13, 1991, a stretch of 4.032 games that’s the longest in the majors.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak.
Moncada and Pedroia had two hits apiece for the Red Sox, who out-hit the A’s 6-2.
Boston had won nine straight over Oakland, scoring 91 runs over that stretch.
The Red Sox had at least 11 runs and 15 hits in five straight wins against Oakland this season.