The Oakland Athletics saw their losing streak grow to four-straight after a sloppy 11-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday afternoon.
James Kaprielian got off to a tough start with a long first inning, but did a good job of limiting the damage. Wander Franco homered on a 3-2 pitch to stake the Rays to an early lead. Randy Arozarena followed with a single to right and then stole second. Kaprielian then walked Luke Raley, but came back and got Isaac Paredes to fly out for the second out and then struck out Harold Ramirez to end the inning.
Kaprielian settled in the second and the third. Things started to fall apart a bit in the fourth as the defense behind him let him down. Paredes was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Harold Ramirez then reached on an infield single to Jace Peterson. Peterson fielded the ball and then looked to second, but then threw to first late as Ramirez legged it out.
Kaprielian retired Josh Lowe and Manuel Margot for the first two outs of the inning and then got Christian Bethancourt to ground to Aledmys Diaz at shortstop who turned and lobbed a throw to second that was too late to get Ramirez. That would prove costly as Brandon Lowe followed with a grand slam to left field to put the Rays up 5-0.
Given all of the pitching issues Oakland has had over the first part of the season, you simply can’t have those kind of mistakes from two players that were signed during the offseason in hopes of providing veteran leadership.
Kaprielian stayed in the game and retired Arozarena and Raley to start the inning. He then walked Paredes before Ramirez struck again with a two-run home run to make it 7-0. Jose Lowe followed with a double and Kaprielian then walked Margot before exiting in favor of Dany Jiménez. Bethancourt then lined out to Conner Capel in left to end the inning.
Kaprielian’s line is deceiving as the damage wouldn’t have been nearly as severe with a little help from his defense. He allowed seven hits, three walks and seven runs over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six while throwing a career-high 106 pitches.
Oakland’s defensive struggles continued in the sixth. Trevor May walked Brandon Lowe to start the inning. Franco then popped out to Kemp in short center. Kemp threw back to first to try and double up Lowe, but no one was there as Ryan Noda and moved out to cover second. The throw went into the dugout allowing Lowe to advance to third. He would score on a single by Arozarena to make it 8-0. May walked three more guys in the inning and forced in another run to push the score to 9-0.
Brandon Lowe brought home another run with a single in the seventh against Adrian Martinez. Josh Lowe rounded out the scoring with a run scoring single in the eighth.
The A’s offense didn't have much more luck. Ramon Laureano doubled with two outs in the second and then stole third base. He was originally ruled out on the play, but Oakland challenged and the call was overturned. It proved to be a moot point though as Shea Langeliers popped out harmlessly to Franco at shortstop to end the inning.
Rays starter Drew Rasmussen retired 16 straight hitters after Laureano’s double before exiting. He allowed just the one hit and struck out eight while throwing 83 pitches. Jason Adam walked Conner Capel to start the ninth snapping the streak of 19 straight batters retired.
Oakland will continue their road trip Monday when they make the trip up to Baltimore for a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.