BOSTON — It should have been a satisfying cross-country flight home for the A's on Thursday night.
But the joy of a 9-8 victory over the Boston Red Sox was accompanied by a sizable dose of bad news, and that's your 2010 A's season in a nutshell.
Starting pitcher Brett Anderson left the game after two innings with tightness in his left elbow, a bad development considering the left-hander was making his second start since coming off the disabled list for an elbow-related injury.
Shortly after Anderson's exit, right fielder Ryan Sweeney left with dizziness after he collided with second baseman Mark Ellis as both chased Kevin Youkilis' foul pop-up in the third.
Those injuries put a damper on a wild win for the A's, who got two home runs from Kurt Suzuki and four overall. Oakland avoided a three-game sweep at Fenway Park and closed a challenging 10-game road trip with a winning record at 6-4.
"Obviously I'm happy with the win and a great road trip," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We'll see where we're at tomorrow with Brett."
Anderson, signed to a four-year, $12.5 million contract extension April 16, said he felt tightness in his elbow beginning in the second inning.
He looked dominant against Detroit on Saturday, his first start since missing five weeks because of a strained forearm and elbow inflammation.
His pitches didn't have the same life Thursday, and Vin Mazzaro relieved him to start the third inning.
Anderson is set to be examined by a doctor today.
"It's kind of like a re-occurring of what happened last time," Anderson said. "It's tough to tell how it is. ... My slider just wasn't the same. At-bats where there's two strikes, it's usually a putaway pitch. But I just left it over the middle."
Sweeney went to a Boston-area medical center to get tests, which came out negative, according to Geren. Sweeney's status is unknown as the A's begin a seven-game homestand tonight against the Minnesota Twins.
Take away those injuries, and there was much for the A's to like.
Their four homers were their most since hitting five at Minnesota on Sept. 11 of last season.
Jack Cust went deep for the first time since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on May 15. His eighth-inning blast was followed by Kevin Kouzmanoff's solo shot, the first time the A's have hit consecutive homers this season.
Geren had to call on a depleted bullpen early, yet the A's withstood Boston's 18-hit attack. Andrew Bailey was called on for a six-out save. The 18 hits tied the Oakland record for most allowed in a nine-inning win.
Credit two big plays where the A's threw out runners at home. Victor Martinez was nailed in the third while trying to score from first on Youkilis' double. Suzuki made a terrific play, scooping a short-hop relay throw from shortstop Cliff Pennington and applying the tag as Martinez slid by.
Right fielder Gabe Gross threw out Darnell McDonald in the fourth as McDonald tried scoring from second on Jeremy Hermida's single.
Mazzaro (1-0) gave up nine hits and three runs in 31/3 innings but still got the victory. He may be ticketed for the minors if the A's need to call up a fresh arm for the bullpen.
The A's will cross their fingers on the injury front and take comfort that they've more than held their own during this ongoing stretch of 20 games without a day off.
"It'll be nice to go home and get healthy," Bailey said.