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Rays waste one-hitter, fall to A's 3-2

The Rays waste a combined one-hitter with untimely hitting and defensive miscues Wednesday night against the Athletics

Brian Blanco

Despite only allowing one hit, the Tampa Bay Rays dropped a 3-2 decision to the Oakland Athletics Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. Erik Bedard was the losing pitcher for the Rays with Tommy Milone picking up the win for the Athletics. Bedard combined with Brad Boxberger, Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Grant Balfour to allow just one hit on the night.

Oakland scored first in this contest, pushing two runs across the plate without recording a hit. Yoenis Cespedes leadoff the inning by reaching on a Yunel Escobar error. Escobar's errant throw to first brought James Loney off of the bag, allowing Cespedes to reach. Bedard then issued back to back walks to Derek Norris and Brandon Moss to load the bases with no outs. It looked like he might escape the inning with no damage after he struck out Alberto Callaspo and induced a grounder from Josh Reddick. However, Sean Rodriguez, playing second base, rushed his throw to ensure that Escobar could turn the double play. Rodriguez missed Escobar and sent the ball into left field behind third base, allowing Cespedes and Norris to score, giving the A's a 2-0 lead. Bedard was able to avoid any further damage by getting a double play ball from Nick Punto.

The Rays mounted a rally in the bottom of the second but were unable to answer Oakland. Escobar hit a one out single to right and moved to third base on a double to short right by Desmond Jennings that looked like a popup off of the bat. Logan Forsythe scorched a ball but Josh Donaldson didn't have to move to catch the ball at third base. Ryan Hanigan popped out to second base to end the inning.

The Athletics extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth on a Brandon Moss homerun to left, the only hit given up by the Rays on the night.

Brad Boxberger replaced Bedard after he issued a one out walk to Donaldson in the sixth inning. Boxberger retired both hitters he faced.

The Rays got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth with the top of the order leading off the inning. Myers began the rally with a single to left just out of the reach of leaping shortstop Nick Punto. Evan Longoria followed the leadoff single with a walk, giving the Rays two baserunners with no outs. Loney singled to center, bringing Myers home for the Rays' first run of the game. Milone induced fly ball outs from Brandon Guyer and Rodriguez before being replaced by Fernando Rodriguez. Escobar greeted Rodriguez with a single to center, scoring Longoria and moving Loney to third. The Rays were unable to tie the game, as Jennings grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning with the score 3-2 in favor of the A's.

Milone retired eleven straight Rays hitters from Jennings's double in the second until Myers's leadoff single in the sixth.

Jake McGee worked a perfect seventh for the Rays. Joel Peralta issued two walks in the top of the eighth before coming back to strike out Donaldson and Cespedes to end the inning with no runs scored.

The Rays mounted a major threat in the bottom of the eighth. Loney started the rally with a one out single to left against a shifted Athletics infield. Loney was replaced by pinch runner Kevin Kiermaier. Matt Joyce, pinch hitting for Guyer, also singled to left against the shift, advancing Kiermaier to third. The Rays sent David DeJesus to pinch hit for Sean Rodriguez, bringing Fernando Abad, a lefty, out to pitch for the A's. Despite having only two plate appearances against left-handed pitching this season, DeJesus drew a walk to load the bases. Yunel Escobar ended the inning with no runs when he grounded into a double play.

Grant Balfour pitched the ninth for the Rays, walking two before retiring the next three batters without allowing a run or hit.

Sean Doolittle came on for Oakland to pitch the ninth inning. He struck out Jennings to lead off the inning before allowing a single to Logan Forsythe off of something (?) near the roof of Tropicana Field. Hanigan was then retired on popup to shortstop to bring Wil Myers to the plate with two outs. Myers fouled off fastball after fastball, seeing ten during the at bat, before striking out swinging on an elevated fastball on the eleventh pitch of the at bat.


-Wil Myers played first base after James Loney was lifted in the bottom of the eighth inning, his second appearance at first base this season.

-David DeJesus had his third plate appearance against left-handed pitching this season, reducing his rate of plate appearances with the platoon advantage this season to 97.7%.

-The Rays take on the Athletics tomorrow looking to avoid a sweep. Alex Cobb, just off of the disabled list, will be opposed by Sonny Gray. The game will not be televised.