A’s 6, Red Sox 5

After seeing the A’s and Red Sox combine for eight runs in a 41-minute first inning, I never would have imagined how little offense I would see over the next 10 innings tonight. That won’t matter to the A’s, who were just happy to finally win the 4-hour, 24-minute contest and take the first two of this three-game series.

–Fitting that it was Travis Buck who ended it in the 12th inning by beating out an infield hit. Buck had been getting squeezed out of playing time after starting the season 1-for-11. He went 3-for-5 with two RBI Tuesday night. If Nomar Garciaparra misses any length of time (he left the game with a right calf injury), the trickle-down effect should have Buck in the lineup more often.

–Watching Sean Gallagher take the mound in the top of the 12th, I couldn’t help but think: “Could this guy have pictured himself in this scenario back when spring training started?” Gallagher came into camp seemingly assured of a rotation spot but pitched himself out of it. Now he’s a long reliever, but he was pressed into late-game duty Tuesday with the A’s running low on bullpen arms. He wound up getting the victory.

Bob Geren talked before the game about how Gallagher needs to keep himself physically and mentally prepared, because he doesn’t know when he might be called on. He had only one appearance through the first seven games. …

— If Garciaparra and Eric Chavez both are unavailable at third base, it will be interesting to see how Bobby Crosby mans the position on a regular basis. There won’t be many routine plays over there for him, that’s for sure. Of course, if Chavez or Garciaparra wind up on the DL, the A’s will call up another infielder who might be able to play third also.

–Don’t forget that tomorrow afternoon’s game (judging by the time, I should say today’s game!) is on Comcast SportsNet California. Most of those 12:35 matinees haven’t been televised in the past …

Joe Stiglich