OAKLAND, Calif. — Coco Crisp hit a leadoff home run and finished a triple shy of the cycle to back A.J. Griffin’s gem, and the surging Oakland Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 7-1 on Saturday night for their season-high eighth straight win.
Brandon Inge’s two-run double highlighted a four-run third inning against lefty Felix Doubront (10-7) and Chris Carter added his 13th homer to lead another overpowering A’s victory. Oakland pounded Boston 20-2 on Friday to hand the franchise its most lopsided loss in more than a decade.
Griffin (4-0) retired the first 14 batters until Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s bunt single with the infield shifted. The rookie right-hander struck out five and walked none while giving up three hits in seven innings.
Dustin Pedroia’s two-out RBI single in the sixth was all Boston managed in its fifth straight loss.
The low-budget A’s, which won 74 games last year, improved to 75-57. Oakland leads Baltimore (73-59) for the first of two AL wild-card spots. Tampa Bay (72-61) is behind Baltimore.
Oakland’s power at the plate has shown no signs of slowing down.
Making matters worse for the Red Sox — and anybody who didn’t enjoy the tunes — was ISA’s ‘‘Moving Like Berney’’ song that played anytime Oakland scored as part of a promotional gimmick by the A’s for ‘‘Bernie Weekend.’’ Or anytime Oakland in-game entertainment crew felt like it, really.
Crisp and Inge had adopted the song as their walk-up music and the trend became a craze.
So the A’s had Terry Kiser, the actor who played Bernie Lomax in the ‘‘Weekend at Bernie’s’’ movies, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The team also handed out wooden sticks with a picture of Bernie’s face. The original 1989 movie is based on two friends who haul their dead buddy Bernie around with his playful antics and gyrations, which has been mimicked in videos called the ‘‘Bernie Lean,’’ including one with A’s players.
Oakland certainly danced all over Boston from the start.
Crisp clocked a 1-2 fastball over the wall in left for his third leadoff home run of the season. The solo shot gave Oakland eight batters with at least 10 home runs for the first time since 2004.
Yoenis Cespedes singled home Jonny Gomes in the third and Inge added a two-run double in the inning that bounced off the glove of right fielder Cody Ross, whose right shoulder slammed into the wall and had to be checked by trainers. He stayed in the game.
Derek Norris also had a two-out RBI single to finish off the four-run inning and give the A’s a 5-0 lead. All Oakland really had to do stay steady behind Griffin’s gem.
The Red Sox did the rest.
In what turned out to be a comedy of errors, Doubront’s cutoff the throw from center on Norris’ single — but nobody covered first base. The pitcher had to chase Norris back to the bag, diving for the tag as Norris slid in safely. Reliever Alfredo Aceves also dropped a foul pop by Gomes near the first-base line for an error in the fourth.
Pedroia and Aceves also appeared to get into an argument in the Red Sox dugout in the top of the fifth. Third base coach Jerry Royster separated them.
Saltalamacchia overshadowed the dispute with his own questionable move. He bunted for a single with the infield shifted with two outs in the fifth for Boston’s first baserunner. The Oakland Coliseum crowd, announced at 20,315, showered the catcher with boos and every time his name was announced.
For the rest of the night, the home fans had reason to cheer.
With rosters expanding from 25 to up to 40 players in September, the A’s reinstated Griffin before the game to give lefty Brett Anderson an extra day of rest. Griffin had gone 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in eight starts before he was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder tightness Aug. 5.
The right-hander shut down Boston until Ryan Lavarnway lined a clean single to right leading off the sixth. Pedro Ciriaco grounded into a fielder’s choice and scored from second on Pedroia’s single, although the throw home by Cespedes in left beat Ciriaco’s slide.
Norris tagged Ciriaco just as he slid into the plate and was called safe. TV replays were inconclusive.
NOTES: Inge, who came off the 15-day disabled with a sprained right shoulder earlier in the day, was replaced to start the fourth inning after throwing out Ciriaco on a groundout to end the third. The team said Inge he re-aggravated his shoulder. Adam Rosales shifted to third base and Cliff Pennington took over at second. .... Former A’s closer Andrew Bailey struck out Cespedes in the eighth in his first appearance with Boston at the Coliseum. ... Lefty Brett Anderson (2-0, 0.64 ERA) will start for the A’s against RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 5.10 ERA) in Sunday’s series finale.