The Oakland Athletics couldn’t buy a hit when it mattered most, as the club squandered a gem from Sonny Gray in a 2-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
“I don’t know how you pitch any better,” said manager Bob Melvin after Gray ripped off nine punchouts on a bright Wednesday afternoon at the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland. “We just didn’t give him enough support.”
The right-hander was saddled with his first loss of the year even though he only allowed a single run on three hits in seven frames.
The afternoon began in promising fashion for the hosts, as the Red Sox’s starter Wade Miley dished out back-to-back free passes to leadoff the game. After that nightmare sequence to open the action, Miley managed to escape unscathed. Navigating out of trouble with the theme of the day for the lefty, as the A’s went a remarkable 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
“We had some opportunities early on, and that’s where, if we get those opportunities early on in the game—you don’t come through and now you start pressing and that’s the way it goes,” said Melvin.
One player who can finally stop pressing is Coco Crisp. The veteran table-setter collected his first hit of the year on an infield single in the bottom of the fifth. After he reached first safely, Crisp took a mocking bow, as he snapped an 0-for-39 streak that dated back to last season.
Half an inning later, Crisp made a spectacular play in the outfield. The 35-year-old ran all the way across the left-center gap and then flew through the air to make a diving catch to rob Dustin Pedroia.
In the eighth, Marcus Semien committed his fifth error in as many games and his 11th overall. That total is the most in the bigs and equal to that of the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays. With two outs and a couple of runners on, the shortstop fielder a grounder off the bat of Pedroia, but then sailed his throw into the seats as the Red Sox tacked on a second run.
“We’re just not very timely,” said Melvin of his team’s 36 errors in 36 games, which is the worst in MLB. “And we’ve made our share of errors even though we have some guys that have the ability.”
Up next, the A’s host the Chicago White Sox on Friday, May 15, as Jesse Hahn (1-3, 4.73 ERA) takes the mound. With first pitch slated for 7:05, Carlos Rodon (1-0, 2.92) gets the call for the American League Central squad.