The A’s fell short in their effort to pull off what would have been a once-in-almost-a-century feat with a 12-3 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday. Instead, they had their three-game winning streak snapped.
No A’s team had swept a Red Sox team in a four-game series in exactly 85 years – dating back to May 19-21, 1932 when the middle of the then-Philadelphia lineup included Hall of Famers Mickey Cochrane, Al Simmons and Jimmy Foxx.
Oakland had a chance to win the game after Chad Pinder’s fourth home run in the last eight games came off Red Sox’s lefty Eduardo Rodriguez with Oakland taking a 3-2 lead. Rodriguez sealed off the A’s offense at that point and a combination of potent Boston bats and porous A’s defense led the way to a Red Sox win.
“It felt we had them on the run a little bit,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today.”
The A’s made three errors and contributed a wild pitch to the day’s proceedings. Both are ongoing stories for the A’s, who lead the Major Leagues with 42 errors in 44 games and have 23 wild pitches, tied with Seattle for the American League lead.
More than that, the A’s had a chance to get to within two games of .500 and chop another game of their deficit to American League West leading Houston, but now head into Monday’s off day with a 20-24 record awhile sitting nine games out of first in the West before Miami arrives in town Tuesday.
The defensive issues that have haunted the A’s cropped up immediately Sunday. First up was right fielder Mark Canha’s throwing error in the first inning. It came on a Dustin Pedroia single to right that should have seen base runner Mookie Betts stop at second base.
Instead Betts came all the way around to score and Pedroia finished at second. He took third on a wild pitch from Andrew Triggs and scored on a sacrifice fly.
The last time the A’s had seen Rodriguez was about 12 months ago. That time around Rodriguez had a no-hitter going until there were two out in the eighth inning. Sunday was different, with Rajai Davis starting the A’s off with a hit to open the bottom of the first.
That’s not to say Rodriguez was any easier to hit this time around. But Pinder doubled with two out in the second and scored on Josh Phegley’s single up the middle to get one run home.
Pinder was in the middle of it once again in the fourth inning. Ryon Healy singled with one out and Pinder hit the first pitch he saw on a line over the left field wall. The homer was is second in as many games as he attempts to secure some everyday playing time.
Rodriguez reverted to his previous form against Oakland after the homer, however, retiring the next 10 batters in succession until a two-out walk in the seventh. By that time, the A’s were staring at a 6-3 deficit.
Boston had gotten even against Triggs on an RBI single from Betts in the fifth and a subsequent hit-and-run single with Pedroia slapping a ball in the area vacated by shortstop Adam Rosales and Betts racing all the way around to score as the Red Sox moved back in front 4-3.
An inning later it was 6-3 as Mitch Moreland homered for the third time in the series, this time with a man no. It was the 19th homer of Moreland’s career against Oakland, a half dozen more than he has against any other team.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.