Moss’ HR is A’s only hit in 3-2 win over Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — This is how well things are going for the Oakland Athletics: They had only one hit — and won.
“Sometimes that’s all you need,” said manager Bob Melvin after the A’s won for the 11th time in 12 games, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Wednesday night.
Brandon Moss hit a solo homer for Oakland’s only hit and the Athletics took advantage of walks and two errors to win their fifth straight.
“It’s not the easiest way to win a baseball game,” said Moss, who hit his 10th homer. “But it’s better than getting one hit and losing.”
Oakland scored twice on two errors and a pair of walks in the second inning, helping the A’s win a regular-season game for the first time since at least 1914 while getting only one hit, according to the team.
Moss’ 11th extra-base hit in seven games came off Erik Bedard in the fourth inning. Oakland’s fifth straight victory, coupled with Detroit’s loss earlier Wednesday, gave the A’s the best record in the major leagues at 30-16.
Tommy Milone (2-3) gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings for the A’s.
Bedard (2-2) pitched 5 1-3 innings for the Rays. Four Rays relievers finished the one-hitter, but the Rays gave up seven walks, one reason the A’s didn’t need much hitting.
“It’s pretty remarkable. You don’t hear about that too often, but we did walk a lot,” said Milone. “We worked the count, got on base and put pressure on them. I guess it’s not that surprising when you look back.”
The homer by Moss was the first off Bedard since Sept. 16, 2013, breaking a homerless streak of 49 1-3 innings.
Throwing errors by Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Sean Rodriguez and two walks in the second inning helped the A’s score their first two runs off Bedard.
“It’s really one of the more unusual games to lose,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “We pitched extremely well. It’s just an awkward game to give up one hit and lose. The one hit is a home run, and that was the deciding point.”
After Moss’ sixth homer in 16 games made it 3-0, singles by Wil Myers, James Loney and Escobar produced two runs for Tampa Bay in the sixth and chased Milone.
The Rays, who have lost four straight, loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but reliever Fernando Abad got Escobar to hit into a double play.
“That won us the ballgame right there, in my opinion,” said A’s catcher Derek Norris.
Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Logan Forsythe was credited with a hit off Doolittle when his infield popup caromed off a Tropicana Field catwalk and landed near the pitcher’s mound. The umpires ruled the ball had struck the catwalk in fair territory.
NOTES: The Rays will activate RHP Alex Cobb (strained left oblique) from the 15-day disabled list Thursday to pitch against Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (5-1). Cobb (1-1) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13. The Rays optioned OF Kevin Kiermaier to Triple-A Durham to create Cobb’s roster spot. . . . Tampa Bay RHP Jeremy Hellickson, coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow in January, will throw batting practice for the first time Thursday. He hopes to be back before the All-Star break. ... Melvin said he is hopeful SS Jed Lowrie will play Thursday after missing two games with a strained neck. ... RHP Ryan Cook (right forearm strain) might pitch a bullpen session when the A’s return home next week. ... LHP Eric O’Flaherty (Tommy John surgery) will throw one inning in a sim game at extended spring training Saturday. He is eligible to come off the disabled list May 29.