BOSTON — Oakland’s Jed Lowrie rounded first base, reached second and immediately raised his arms in the air.
He couldn’t believe it.
Lowrie’s looping liner down the right-field line with two outs in the ninth inning was ruled foul, the ball seemingly falling in the small space between the foul line and short wall, and Lowrie struck out two pitches later as the Athletics rally fell short in a 6-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.
“It’s a game-changing call,” said Lowrie, who finished 3 for 5. “I saw him call it foul and I kept running because I couldn’t believe it. I don’t even know what to say.”
Oakland manager Bob Melvin did, immediately bolting out of the dugout to protest the call with umpire Greg Gibson.
Like Lowrie, Melvin said he saw white chalk burst into the air as a result of the ball hitting the line.
“It makes a huge difference. Now you’ve got a runner in scoring position, anything can happen,” Melvin said. “It’s where you wish that there were more replays for boundary calls, too. Not just home runs.”
Lowrie, too, is a proponent of advancing instant replay even further.
“It’s easy to say that now, but I have been in the past,” he said. “It doesn’t change the way I feel about it after this call, but I think it’s good for the game. It’s about getting it right.”
Oakland’s Brett Anderson (1-4) could have used a little luck himself.
The left-hander squandered an early three-run lead, surrendering six runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in four-plus innings.
“We played a pretty solid game overall other than getting solid starting pitching from myself,” he said. “Any time you can get a three-run lead against a guy like Jon Lester, especially the way that he’s been pitching to start the year, you want to go out there and have a shutdown inning. That was pretty terrible on my part.”
Anderson has lost three straight, getting tagged for 17 runs in 10 2-3 innings.
“I’ve just got to go out there and maybe help a grandma cross a street or burn my locker or something like that, and get some better mojo going,” he said, “because Im a better pitcher than that.”
Stephen Drew hit a two-run triple and David Ortiz had two hits and drove in a run and for the Red Sox.
It was Boston’s ninth win in 12 games and came after a 13-0 loss to Oakland a night earlier.
Chris Young had a three-run homer and a solo shot for the Athletics, who finished a six-game road trip 1-5. They were swept at the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend.
Ortiz is 8 for 16 since returning to the lineup on Saturday for the first time since last August. He missed 71 of the final 72 games last season and all of spring training’s with an Achilles tendon injury.
Jon Lester (4-0) got the win despite walking a season-high six and lasting just 5 2-3 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two more than he had in his previous four starts.
Andrew Bailey struck out all three batters in the ninth for his fifth save.
It was Lester’s 89th career win, matching Babe Ruth for fifth in club history for left-handers.
The Red Sox broke a 3-all tie and chased Anderson with a three-run fifth. Jacoby Ellsbury opened the inning with an infield hit and scored on Shane Victorino’s double. Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield hit and Ortiz followed with an RBI single. Chris Resop relieved and hit Mike Napoli with the first pitch before Daniel Nava had a pinch-hit single. After Will Middlebrooks flied out, Jerry Blevins entered and retired the final two batters, leaving the bases loaded.
Lester was pulled with the bases loaded and in the sixth, but Junichi Tazawa got Coco Crisp to fly out.
Josh Donaldson’s RBI single made it 6-4 and Young’s second homer cut it to one in the eighth.
The Athletics had jumped ahead with three runs against Lester in the fourth on Young’s homer that caromed off a billboard above the Green Monster seats, but Boston tied it with three in the bottom of the inning.
Ortiz, back in the lineup after getting Tuesday off, doubled leading off and scored on Napoli’s double. Jonny Gomes walked and, one out later, Drew tripled into the right-field corner.
NOTES: Anderson had left his previous start with a sprained right ankle. ... Melvin said he kept Josh Reddick out of the starting lineup with a tough lefty going now that it looks like the outfielder’s worked out of a slump. Reddick was 2 for 4 in each of the first two games after going just 3 for 37 in the previous 10. Reddick struck out pinch hitting. ... Boston recalled RHP Daniel Bard from Double-A Portland before the game and optioned RHP Steven Wright to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... The Red Sox again honored members of the Watertown, Mass., police department. Members stood on top of both dugouts, got a big ovation from fans and both teams. ... Home plate umpire Jerry Layne left the game after being hit on the left hand by a foul tip in the third. Second base ump Mike Estabrook took over behind the plate. ... Anderson was 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA in eight starts against Boston.