OAKLAND -- Hold the opponent to one unearned run over two games and a team has to like its chances of coming away with two victories.
So many things should have pointed the A’s to a win Tuesday night. Instead, they were left to digest a 1-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers that snapped their three-game winning streak. A day after Jesse Hahn tossed his first career shutout, Jesse Chavez turned in eight sterling innings, but the A’s couldn’t reward the right-hander, going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranding 10 runners.
The game’s only run scored before many fans found their seats. Detroit’s Anthony Gose singled to lead off the game, stole second and advanced to third on catcher Josh Phegley’s throwing error on the play. Rajai Davis hit a sacrifice fly and the Tigers had the only run they would need to tie this three-game series at one apiece.
Despite that game-changing error, the A’s got several standout plays on defense – particularly from Stephen Vogt at first base. They got yet another terrific effort from a starter. They even got the tying run to second base with two outs in the ninth when Sam Fuld doubled. But Billy Burns flied out against Joakim Soria to end it.
Starting pitching report
It seems like a misprint to see Chavez with a 1-5 record and a 2.44 ERA. The right-hander was excellent Tuesday but went unrewarded. He tied his career-high by going eight innings and held Detroit to just an unearned run on five hits. That continued a string of excellent outings from A’s starters. They’ve thrown 28 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
Chavez struck out four and walked two. Anthony Gose’s run in the top of the first accounted for the only runner Chavez allowed past second base.
Tyler Clippard gave up a hit and two walks but wound up tossing a scoreless ninth, as Oakland’s relief corps has gotten a substantial rest in the past two games.
At the plate
The A’s caught David Price on a night the 2012 AL Cy Young winner wasn’t his sharpest. But despite getting the leadoff batter aboard in each of the first four innings, they couldn’t break against the lefty as Price (4-1) threw seven scoreless innings. Oakland went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
In the second, the A’s put runners on the corners with one out, but Josh Phegley hit a fly to center that was too shallow to score Vogt and Sam Fuld grounded to short. They had two runners aboard with one out in the next inning but again came up empty.
They’re now 1-10 in games started by a left-hander, and that’s the worst such mark in the majors.
In the field
An early defensive miscue proved costly. Gose led off the game with a single and took off for second on a steal attempt. Josh Phegley’s throw was wide of the bag and went into center, allowing Gose to advance to third. Rajai Davis scored him with a sacrifice fly, and just like that Oakland had allowed its major league-worst 30th unearned run.
There were some defensive bright spots too. Billy Burns made a diving catch in center to rob Miguel Cabrera in the first. Then Stephen Vogt, making just his second start of the season at first base, made a running, sliding catch of Rajai Davis’ foul pop in the third. After his early throwing error, Phegley nailed three would-be base stealers at second with strong throws.
Marcus Semien had a couple hard-hit balls get past him for singles on plays that it seemed he had chances to make.
The announced turnout was 22,758.
The A’s have won their past three day games after losing 13 of their first 14, and trying to solve that one will only make you run for the aspirin. Scott Kazmir (2-3, 3.09) takes the ball in Wednesday’s 12:35 p.m. game, with Kyle Ryan expected to go for the Tigers. Alfredo Simon was originally scheduled to start Wednesday, but was placed on the bereavement list after Tuesday's game to attend to his sick father.