May 21: Athletics (30-16) 3, Rays (19-28) 2
The Oakland Athletics collected just one hit – a big fly from Brandon Moss — in nine innings and got a 3-2 win against the Tampa Rays. The A’s scored a pair of runs on an error in the second and tallied the game-winner in the fourth on Moss’ solo dinger.
Both starting pitchers did their part as they pitched into the sixth innings and handed the ball over with a chance to win. The Rays’ pitching staff allowed just hit in the entire game and just couldn’t get enough hitting from a struggling lineup to come away with the win.
The scoring began in the second when Oakland plated two on a crucial throwing error by second baseman Sean Rodriguez. Tampa Bay put themselves in a bad spot as it loaded the bases on a Yunel Escobar throwing error and a pair of walks issued by starter Erik Bedard.
With Josh Reddick batting and the bases loaded he reached base on Rodriguez’s error, allowing for Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris to score.
The A’s added the game’s most important run when Moss, with two outs, turned on an 0-2 curveball offering from Bedard in the fourth. It was Moss’ 10th homer of the year.
The Rays wouldn’t go away quietly as they got back two of those runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBI singles from James Loney and Escobar.
With both starters out of the game and the game sitting at 3-2 in favor of the A’s, it was up to the bullpens to keep their teams in it. Both teams did just that as neither team got back on the board. The Rays threatened in the eighth when they loaded the bases with one out, but failed to score when Escobar grounded into a double play to end the threat.
The A’s answered back with a threat of their own as they got the first two batters of the ninth on bases via walks. However, Grant Balfour was able to wiggle his way out of trouble.
In the ninth, Sean Doolittle came in to close the door on the Rays. He did just that as he recorded his fourth save of the season. Tampa Bay got the potential tying run on first, but failed to put together any kind of rally.
Oakland starter Tommy Milone got the win for the A’s as he went 5.2 innings and gave up just the two runs.
For the Rays, Bedard got the loss with 5.1 innings and just the one earned run. He struck out six and surrendered just the one hit to Moss. Four Rays relief pitchers combined to no-hit the A’s the rest of the way. Walks killed the Rays as they gave the A’s seven free passes in the game.