TOKYO -- Days before his start against the Red Sox on Wednesday, Oakland pitcher Rich Harden bought an ancient samurai sword. The purchase was purely for recreational purposes -- Harden is a collector -- though given the way the Sox have treated him in the past, any inclination to arm himself was defensible.
Damn, how many of you predicted the Sox would go 162-0 in '08?
Harden didn't need any accessories today. His strong right shoulder, finally healthy after two years of assorted miseries, was sufficient to bend the Sox to his will in a 5-1 Oakland win that sent both teams back across the Pond with a split of this two-game exercise to create some global warming for Major League Baseball.
Emil Brown, whose base-running gaffe in the 10th inning snuffed out any hope of an Oakland comeback in the opener, hit a three-run home run in the third off Sox starter Jon Lester, who also was touched for a run in the second.
Lester was lifted after four innings. The Athletics added a fifth run in the eighth on a two-out double by Kurt Suzuki and a single by Jeff Fiorentino, the young Athletics' center fielder who had been made to dress in a pink kimono before departing the Tokyo Dome over the weekend. - Boston Globe