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A's Anderson shuts out Red Sox with two-hitter

BOSTON (Reuters) - Oakland rookie Brett Anderson held the Boston Red Sox to two hits over nine innings on Monday, leading the Athletics to a 6-0 win over the American League East leaders.

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The left-hander allowed only singles to Jason Bay in the second inning and Nick Green in the fifth on his way to pitching Oakland’s first complete game in a year.

“He had a powerful fastball, a real good slider and he attacked the strike zone with both pitches and pretty much carved us up,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters.

Anderson (5-7) struck out a career-best nine and walked two as the Athletics stopped the Red Sox from padding their slender lead in the AL East over the New York Yankees.

The Athletics, the worst hitting team in the league, collected 15 hits and chased Boston starter John Smoltz (0-2) after six innings. He gave up 10 hits and five runs.

Oakland scored four runs in the fourth inning and added single tallies in the sixth and ninth.

Mark Ellis delivered a two-run double in the fourth and Adam Kennedy singled in solo runs in the fourth and sixth. Orlando Cabrera added a ninth-inning homer.

Former Boston player Nomar Garciaparra, in his first game back at Fenway Park since being traded to the Cubs in 2004, drove in Oakland’s initial run in the fourth and had two hits.

He received a standing ovation from Boston fans before his first at-bat.

“It looked like it really touched him,” Francona said. “They’re crazy fans, but they’re so wrapped up, emotionally, in their team and people that have been a part of their teams.”

Garciaparra, who played in Boston for eight seasons, said he owed Anderson a treat for his role in making the return special.

“I can’t wait to take him out to dinner and thank him for making tonight so much better,” Garciaparra said.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford and John O’Brien