After leading the league in several offensive categories to start off the season, the Oakland Athletics were stifled by the Tampa Bay Rays over the last three games, leading to the A’s being swept for the first time this season after Sunday’s 8-1 loss. Tommy Milone received his first loss of the season six runs — four of them earned — on eight hits over 6.2 innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Roberto Hernandez got his first win since September of 2011 when he was playing with the Cleveland Indians, and he struck out seven while limiting the A’s to one run on three hits. Oakland was 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position for the game, making them 3-for-25 in the series.
Milone’s rough start in the first essentially decided the game after several Oakland mishaps led to three early runs for the Rays. Josh Reddick dropped a fly ball hit by Evan Longoria to allow Ryan Roberts to score from first, and after walking Shelley Duncan to load the bases, Milone hit Sean Rodriguez to make it 2-0. Kelly Johnson then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Longoria before the inning ended on a ground ball from Jose Molina.
After two leadoff walks to start off the fourth, Reddick was able to bring home Seth Smith on a ground ball to right field, and that would be the only run for the A’s, although they had scoring opportunities in the fifth and seventh innings.
The Rays added two more runs in the seventh on a RBI double from Roberts and a wild pitch by Pat Neshek, and by the time they added two more against Jesse Chavez in the eighth things the writing was on the wall for the A’s, who were outscored 17-4 over the weekend.
The A’s will head to Boston with an 11-2 record within the division and a 1-5 record against the rest of the league. They are now a half-game behind the Texas Rangers for the top spot in the AL West.