When you face a team that leads the league in runs and in fewest runs allowed, you have to be perfect to win, especially when a good pitcher like Price is on the mound. The A's weren't tonight.
Gio Gonzalez looked unhittable early and was dealing well into the late innings, but five walks would be his undoing. He has positively nasty stuff, and he is way too good to walk the number of batters he does. It cost him tonight as the Rays' first run scored after a leadoff walk in the fourth, and the two runs scored in the seventh would seal the game.
The A's had two men on in the first inning, after a walk and a leadoff single, but Kouzmanoff lined to the pitcher for the inning-ending double play.
Price got a lot of A's out in the game; striking out six, while allowing only three hits.
Fast forward to the eighth inning when the A's mounted their only threat of the night. Jake Fox walked to lead off the inning and a balk moved him to second. For reasons unknown, Rajai bunted (for a base hit I'm sure, but an interesting choice considering that Price walked a guy who never walks). Fox walks about as much as Rajai himself, which is to say, never, and Rajai hit the first pitch. For some inexplicable reason, Fox did NOT run to third on the bunt, and after Price hurdled Navarro to get out of the way, Navarro threw out Rajai by a step. That would end up being the A's best chance to score as Price loaded the bases with two outs and Barton coming up. Barton got into a 0-2 hole and later grounded weakly to third. Luckily for him, Longoria made a Kouzmanoff-like throw to first and everybody was safe; the first and only run scored for the A's on the play.
Gaudin came in for the ninth to try to keep the deficit at 2, but he allowed another run to score, and had to tag another one out at the plate. The A's went one, two, three in the ninth, and there is your game. I hate games like this in front of big crowds.
Sheets takes the mound tomorrow for the A's; in the game they need; the A's will see Shields on Sunday, so they might want to win tomorrow.
Rays Still Better Than A's: Price Dominates A's Offense