MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Talk about a funk!
The Tampa Bay Rays allowed just one hit and still lost to Oakland.
Brandon Moss hit a solo homer for Oakland’s only hit and the Athletics took advantage of the sloppy Rays for a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.
Oakland scored twice on two errors and a pair of walks in the second inning, helping the A’s win for the first time since at least 1914 while getting only one hit, according to the team.
“We’ve made mistakes on defense that have hurt us, and part of the issue is they’re really standing out because we have not hit through the mistakes,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Moss hit his 10th home run — and 11th extra-base hit in seven games — 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.
“I think it’s frustrating for everybody,” Bedard said. “We battled out there, and we just came up a little short at the end.”
Tommy Milone (2-3) gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings for the A’s, who have won 11 of 12.
Bedard (2-2) pitched 5 1-3 innings. Four Rays relievers finished the one-hitter as the Tampa Bay lost for the 11th time in 15 games.
The Rays said because records are first available starting in 1914, this was the 11th time a tean allowed three runs or more on one hit or less in a loss. It was the first time since Houston last July 20 — a game started by Bedard — against Seattle.
The homer by Moss was the first off Bedard since Sept. 16, 2013, breaking a homerless streak of 49 1-3 innings. Bedard struck out six, and the earned run he allowed was only the third in his last five starts.
“It’s really one of the more unusual games to lose,” Maddon said. “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. We have to continue to battle because this is a very strange loss.”
Tampa Bay has scored just 16 runs in its last eight games in dropping nine games (19-28) under .500.
Maddon reworked his lineup, having sluggers Wil Myers and Evan Longoria hit first and second. Myers had two of the Rays’ nine hits, while Longoria went 0 for 3.
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.
After Moss’ sixth homer in 16 games made it 3-0, singles by Myers, James Loney and Escobar produced two runs for Tampa Bay in the sixth and chased Milone.
“It’s not the easiest way to win a baseball game,” Moss said. “We were all talking about in the ninth inning … are you aware that we have three runs, one hit, and this has been a four-hour game?”
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.
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.
“It got in the way again,” Maddon said. “I really, sincerely believe it was in fair terrority when the ball hit.”
The call stood after a crew-chief called video review.
NOTES: The Rays will activated 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 after the game to open a roster spot for Cobb. … 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.
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