There are easier ways to win a game. Pick one. Almost any way anyone can think of to win a game would be easier than what the A's did Wednesday, getting one hit to beat Tampa Bay 3-2. The last 100 years of A's baseball haven't seen a regular season win getting just one hit, although Game 4 of the 1974 American League Championship Series saw a double from Reggie Jackson and nothing else in a 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. "A lot of crazy things are happening right now, and they're going our way," A's closer Sean Doolittle said. He had to survive a freak pop fly single that the infield lost in the roof of Tropicana Field, but close it out he did as the A's won for the 11th time in 12 games. Brandon Moss homered in the fourth inning, a solo shot, and that was it for the A's offense. The other two Oakland runs came on two walks and two Rays errors in the second inning. And Moss said it's wrong to make too much of the A's (30-16) having just one hit. "We got some walks (seven), and we forced them to make some plays," he said. "And they made some mistakes. They had base runners, but we made all the plays on defense." The play of the game came in the eighth inning with the A's holding a one-run lead. Luke Gregerson gave up two singles with one out, and Fernando Abad came out of the bullpen with runners on the corners. Asked to face pinch-hitter David DeJesus, Abad walked him. That set up Yunel Escobar with a chance to be the Rays' hero. Instead, Abad induced a double play with a mid-90-mph fastball and, in the words of catcher Derek Norris, "that was the ballgame right there." The grounder went to shortstop Nick Punto, playing with Jed Lowrie out for a second straight game with neck stiffness. Punto got off a throw to second baseman Eric Sogard, who'd began the game on the bench, and Sogard's throw to first was high and just a little offline. Moss, who'd just moved to first base from left field, leapt off the bag to make the catch, then slapped the inning-ending tag of Escobar has he tried to run by. "That was a great job to get that double play grounder," Moss said. "It wasn't a bad throw, just a little offline. I caught it and the runner hadn't reached the bag yet, so it was an easy tag." That's not how manager Bob Melvin saw it. What he saw was the continued evolution of Moss from the full-time outfielder that he was a few years ago to the quality first baseman he is now. "He's a true first baseman now," Melvin said. He's a true power hitter, too. Moss's homer was his 10th of the season and the RBI was his 40th of the year. He's tied with Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for second in the A.L. in RBIs, trailing only Chicago's Jose Abreu (42). And he's been hot. He has 11 extra-base hits -- six doubles, a triple and four homers -- in his last seven games. Of all the A's over all the years, only the aforementioned Reginald Martinez Jackson (four doubles, a triple and seven homers in seven games June 10-16, 1969) has done better.
A's get just one hit, still beat Rays
Oakland Tribune | May 22