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Athletics implode late, lose 8-7 to Nats

On to St. Louis

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics blew a huge late lead today to finish off getting swept, falling to the Washington Nationals by a final of 8-7 after Washington scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth. Owch, this one hurt.

Starting pitching does it’s job

Left-hander Ken Waldichuk turned in his second straight quality start for the Athletics by pitching five strong innings for the club. Left-hander Ken Waldichuk turned in his second straight quality start for the Athletics by pitching five strong innings for the club. Washington jumped on him right away with a run in the first inning and looked like they were poised to give Waldichuk some problems today. That didn’t come to pass though as the young lefty went on to pitch four more innings without allowing another run. He did allow five more hits along the way but Ken did his job today and kept Washington off of the board for the most part today. That’s all the club needed today as the bats really got to work against the Nationals’ pitching.

Bats wake up

Oakland jumped out to the first lead today and it was not one they would give up. Rookie second baseman Zack Gelof continued his scorching start to his major-league career by blasting his seventh home run in the first inning:

Oakland wasn’t done with their first-inning offense just yet. After a walk to Brent Rooker, it was Seth Brown’s turn to get in on the scoring action with a bomb of his own:

That was home run #11 for Brown this year and he wasn’t done on the day just yet.

After Aledmys Diaz added on a fourth run for the club in the third, Gelof continued his torrid start with another home run, his eighth on the year and his first career two-homer game:

What a start to his career. Gelof wound up finishing the day with four hits and is quickly becoming the best A’s hitter on the team and looks like an integral part of the club moving forward. Does he become the center piece?

The A’s added on a couple more runs in the seventh thanks to Brown again as he drove in his third and fourth runs of the game.

And that was it for the offense today. Although you can’t blame them for this loss. When a team scores seven runs you should win nine times out of ten.

Bullpen implodes

Right-hander Adrian Martinez relieved Waldichuk for the sixth and only allowed one run in three innings of work today.

And then the disaster came. Closer Trevor May, the team’s highest-paid player, entered at the bottom of the ninth hoping to secure the win. Instead he completely fell apart, allowed ing a walk, back-to-back-to-back singles, a sac fly and another walk before Mark Kotsay had seen enough. When all was said and done May would be charged for five runs in this one.

Lefty Kirby Snead relieved May with the A’s still in the lead but things didn’t get much better. Snead walked his first batter to bring in a run, then an error from Nick Allen allowed the tying run to score. One batter later and the Nationals were walking off after a single brought in the winning run. And that was the game.

What an ugly, ugly way to end the game. The club was on the verge of getting out of D.C. with at least one win and instead depart for St. Louis with their tails tucked between their legs.

At least they get a fresh new series against a fellow struggling team. The club faces off against the Cardinals tomorrow night when JO Sears takes on Miles Mikolas in St. Louis. Let’s snap this losing streak tomorrow!