After having made headlines with their bats and with their pitching, the A's did it with their defense Tuesday in a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay.

On a night when bats were tamer than usual and the pitchers were struggling to keep the Rays at bay, Oakland's infield turned three double plays and the threat posed by the A's outfield arms kept Tampa runners from moving at will.

The end result was another five innings of shutout work from starter Drew Pomeranz and a 10th win in the past 11 games for the A's, now 29-16.

Pomeranz had the bases loaded and one out in the third when shortstop Nick Punto turned a double play to get him out of the inning. In the eighth, reliever Luke Gregerson was in a first-and-third, one-out jam when third baseman Josh Donaldson started an inning-ender.

"Those double-play balls were huge," Pomeranz said. The left-hander, still unscored upon in three five-inning starts, isn't generally a double-play machine. But in trying to protect a three-run lead "you're just trying to get a ground ball right there to do exactly that," he said.

The double plays took some of the sting out of the club losing center fielder Coco Crisp with a recurrence of the neck pain he felt when he missed seven games in succession earlier this month. He felt it come back after he'd contributed two doubles and two RBIs to the A's cause and was replaced by Craig Gentry in the sixth inning.

It seems unlikely that Crisp will be able to play Wednesday, although manager Bob Melvin said that with the Rays throwing the left-handed Erik Bedard, he wasn't inclined to have Crisp play anyway. Tuesday was the first of six games in succession on artificial surfaces, and Melvin makes it a point to get as many of his key guys as he can a day off to save on the punishment the fake turf can dish out.

The good news for the A's is that shortstop Jed Lowrie, like Crisp a switch-hitter, is likely to be able to play. Melvin suggested he wouldn't like to construct a lineup without either veteran.

The better news for the A's is that Pomeranz, an inconsistent performer with the Rockies before coming to the A's, has been a dynamo in his first three shots at starting. He's thrown 15 innings, allowed eight hits, four walks and struck out 16 without allowing a run. He has a 0.94 ERA. But ...

"The third inning took a lot out of me," Pomeranz said. "That was the longest inning I've had so far."

It would have been tougher without the double plays Punto started in the third and fifth. Not to mention Donaldson's contribution on behalf of Gregerson in the eighth.