The Oakland Athletics had gotten used to being the ones doing all the sweeping this season. This weekend the brooms were broken out at their expense.
After an 8-1 win on Sunday, the Rays outscored the A's 17-4 over the last three games. Oakland's hitters were 3 for 27 with runners in scoring position in this series. They had their chances, but couldn't capitalize.
Under the dome at Tropicana Field, the A's hardly looked like the team that led Major League Baseball with 96 runs scored prior to heading on their latest road trip.
At the Plate
The A's had numerous opportunities to score in this game. They left nine runners on base, and went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position. It looked like the Rays were trying to give the A's chances to get back into the game, but the A's just couldn't make it happen.
Coco Crisp reached on a walk and stole second base in the first inning. He never scored.
In the fifth inning, the A's loaded the bases with two outs, but Brandon Moss flew out to right field. Moss struck out looking with two on and two outs in the seventh inning. He left eight runners on base on Sunday. In that seventh inning, Rays reliever Jake McGee walked the first two batters on eight pitches, but the A's couldn't score.
John Jaso reached second base with no outs in the sixth inning when left fielder Kelly Johnson dropped a ball. Josh Reddick struck out on three pitches and failed to move over the runner. Chris Young followed by striking out on three pitches as well. Eric Sogard grounded out to end the inning.
The A's only hit with runners in scoring position came when Reddick drove in a run with a single in the fourth inning.
Starting Pitching Report
Tommy Milone entered Sunday 3-0 in his first three starts of the season. He had to face some early adversity against the Rays in Tampa Bay. Milone allowed six runs -- four earned -- in 6 2/3 innings of work. A dropped ball in the first inning complicated his day some. He allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked one.
The Rays scored three runs in the first inning on two hits. One run scored on a dropped fly ball to right field. Another run scored when Milone hit Sean Rodriguez with the bases loaded, and the third run scored on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Kelly Johnson.
The ball Johnson hit was to the absolute deepest part of the outfield where the wall has a jagged edge. It might have been a grand slam in a lot of other Major League parks.
Only one of the first inning runs was charged to Milone. He allowed his second run when Yunel Escobar led off the second inning with a home run. After the home run he started to settled in.
Milone picked off Rodriguez in the third inning and during the rundown between first and second base, Evan Longoria broke for home and was thrown out at the plate. Milone retired 11 of the next 12 batters, including a stretch of nine in a row.
In the seventh inning, Milone gave up a one-out single to Desmond Jennings, who came around to score on a double hit by Ryan Roberts. After leaving the game, Roberts ended up scoring.
Pat Neshek relieved Milone and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. He threw a slider that was way outside and Jaso couldn't catch it. He struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Jesse Chavez made his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and it wasn't a good one. He allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in one inning.
In the Field
Reddick dropped a fly ball in the first inning with runners on second and third and one out. As Reddick charged the ball, he looked up to check on Roberts, who was on third base, and dropped the ball. Since he made such a long run to get to the ball, it is unlikely Roberts would have attempted to tag up and score. It's a case of Reddick, a gold glove right fielder, trying to do too much.
Reddick also took a cautious approach on a ball that barely landed fair in the third inning. Typically the A's right fielder would make a diving attempt on a ball like that, but after hurting his wrist in Houston, it looked like he decided against going all out on the play and risking injury.
The Rays announced an attendance of 25,954.
The A's head to Boston to face the Red Sox for three games before heading home. Here are the pitching probables.
RHP A.J. Griffin (2-0, 2.25) vs. Felix Doubront (1-0, 4.50)
RHP Bartolo Colón (2-0, 3.31) vs. Alfredo Aceves (1-0, 6.28)
LHP Brett Anderson (1-3, 5.95) vs. Jon Lester (3-0, 1.73)