OAKLAND -- There was a happy ending after all for proud papa Mark Ellis and the A's.

Eric Chavez ripped a walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning off Kyle Snyder to give the A's a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night at McAfee Coliseum.

It provided quite the capper on Ellis' historic night. The A's second baseman finished 4-for-5 with three RBI and became the 17th player in franchise history to hit for the cycle, just three days after his wife, Sarah, gave birth to the couple's first child.

"It's been a really exciting week for me," Ellis said.

Ellis got the final hit he needed for the cycle, a broken-bat, bloop single in the bottom of the 10th, only because A's interim closer Alan Embree failed to close things out in the top of the ninth.

Embree took the mound in the ninth having converted all four of his save opportunities this season and trying to preserve a 4-2 lead for starter Dan Haren.

It didn't happen. The Red Sox tied the game with two runs on an RBI single from pinch-hitter Jason Varitek and a hit-and-run RBI single from Wily Mo Pena.

That temporarily stole the thunder from Ellis' terrific offensive night.

Ellis had come up in the bottom of the eighth needing just a single for the cycle. He hit a sharp grounder to Boston third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who made a nice grab but threw wildly to second base trying to get a force. The play was ruled a fielder's choice, much to the chagrin of the A's portion of the 28,177 fans in attendance.


Advertisement

After Boston broke through against Embree, the A's still should have ended things in regulation. They had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the ninth but couldn't push across the game winner. Chavez struck out swinging and Bobby Crosby hit into a 5-2-3 double play to send things to extra innings.

Boston got its opportunity in the top of the 10th. David Ortiz scorched a two-out double off the center-field wall. Mark Kotsay fielded the ball quickly, and shortstop Crosby's relay throw home was in plenty of time to nail Dustin Pedroia, who was trying to score from first base.

Chavez would atone for things in the bottom of the 11th, crushing a 1-1 fastball off Snyder. The Boston reliever didn't even bother glancing toward right field.

Chavez has been battling right triceps tendonitis but seems to have it under control.

"I felt like I threw (the ninth-inning opportunity) away," Chavez said. "I was just looking for anything, a hittable pitch."

Ellis got things going for the A's in the second with a two-run triple to the gap in right-center.

He increased the A's lead when he drilled a solo homer to left off Boston starter Julian Tavarez in the fourth to make it 3-1.

Ellis hustled out a double to left-center in the sixth.

His single in the 10th made him the first Athletic to hit for the cycle since Eric Byrnes on June 29, 2003. It was just the sixth cycle in the team's Oakland history and only the second time the feat had been accomplished at the Coliseum. Chavez collected the first cycle June 21, 2000.

Haren, trying to beef up his candidacy for an All-Star Game start, also deserved a game ball after going 7ยช innings and allowing just two runs and four hits.

He allowed a solo homer to Ortiz in the first and another solo shot to Pena in the seventh.

It was Ortiz's first homer since May 9 -- a 19-game drought that was his longest as a member of the Red Sox. It also was just the second homer that Haren has allowed in his past six starts.

Then Haren sat down 14 straight until Ortiz walked with two outs in the sixth.

Contact Joe Stiglich at jstiglich@cctimes.com.