In what is becoming routine, the A’s booted the ball around the diamond Sunday afternoon, squandering a lead and committing four errors en route to a sweep at the hands and bats of the White Sox.
Oakland has now tallied up a league high 42 errors including 21 over the past 14 games, and has suffered four straight defeats to a league worst 13-26 record, the latest being a 7-3 loss to Chicago.
“It’s just snowballing on us right now. Guys are thinking about it quite a bit, don’t want to make an error, and we end up doing it,” said Bob Melvin.
The streak is now at 14 consecutive games in which the Athletics have made at least one error. Leading the team is Marcus Semien with 13. Despite being an impressive offensive threat in the lineup (.314 average/16 extra base hits/ 6 stolen bases), Semien has struggled defensively while transitioning to his first full season as an everyday shortstop.
Scott Kazmir recovered from a rocky first inning to strike out six on the day, however the lefty could not escape the fifth inning as poor defense and costly mistakes added up to a four run inning that the A’s could not recover from.
“I don’t feel like we’re pressing. We’re out there giving it everything we have, we’re on the verge of making something happen, it’s just tough. We’ve had a bad stretch,” said Kazmir.
Former Athletic Jeff Samardzija was in ace form on the afternoon, pitching eight innings and frustrating Oakland hitters scattering eight hits and striking out five.
The one highlight for the A’s on the afternoon was rookie Max Muncy slugging his first Major League home run off of the “Shark” in the fourth inning that gave Oakland a 2-1 lead, briefly. His teammates gave Muncy the quiet treatment in the dugout after he trotted around the bases, ignoring him as if nothing happened.
“You see enough first home runs you know they were going to do something. I just tried to have fun with it, ran through the ghost home run tunnel,” said Muncy.
The A’s remain winless during day games at home (0-8) and have suffered back to back 1-5 homestands. The Coliseum has not proven to be a home field advantage for the A’s this season, as they are now 5-14 at home, matching the worst start in team history (1994). Oakland will look to get back in the win column on a seven-game road trip to Houston and Tampa Bay.
Drew Pomeranz (2-3, 4.42) will take the hill Monday night against the first place Astros. The southpaw will be opposed by Lance McCullers who will be making his Major League debut. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PST.