One hit was all the A’s needed to trump the Rays 3-2 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory and 11th win in their last 12 games.
That one hit just happened to be a solo home run by Brandon Moss in the fourth inning that gave the A’s a 3-0 lead. Other than that, the A’s took advantage of the Rays’ miscues, leading to one of the strangest box scores you will ever see.
Usually, the team with nine hits will beat the team with just one, except when the team with nine hits commits two costly errors in the same inning and the team with one hit consistently got themselves in and out of jams.
The two errors came in the second inning. Yoenis Cespedes led off the inning by reaching on a Yunel Escobar throwing error. Then after two walks by Rays’ starter Erik Bedard loaded the bases with one out, Josh Reddick hit a tailor-made ground ball to Sean Rodriguez. But Rodriguez’s throw to second sailed wide and into left field, allowing two runs to score without the benefit of a hit.
Meanwhile, the A’s escaped a few potentially disastrous innings with the lead intact. Second and third with one out in the second inning, bases loaded with one out in the eighth, and a marathon at-bat by Wil Myers against Sean Doolittle with the tying run on first that eventually ended the game when Myers struck out.
Tommy Milone pitched 5.2 innings and got the win, but the A’s bullpen, which went the rest of the way without allowing a run, deserves a ton of credit. Bedard allowed just the one hit in 5.1 innings, but wound up the hard-luck loser.
— Prior to tonight, the A’s had only won one game in which they recorded just one hit: Game 4 of the ALDS in 1974.
— There was a weird play in the bottom of the ninth inning that could only happen in Tropicana Field. With one out, Logan Forsythe hit a mile-high popup on the infield that ricocheted off the roof at the indoor stadium and changed direction, eventually falling next to the pitcher’s mound as multiple A’s infielders stood around, bewildered. The umpires actually reviewed the play, but because it hit the roof in fair territory and landed in fair territory, the ball was in play and Forsythe recorded a single that he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. At least A’s fans can be thankful their team doesn’t play at the Trop, which may be the only park in baseball worse than the Coliseum.
— Brandon Moss is on an absolute tear. He’s hitting .344 this month, raising his average from .253 to a robust .301. His 40 RBI is tied for third with Miguel Cabrera in the AL.
— The A’s, thanks to their recent tear, have taken over the best record in baseball at 30-16.