OAKLAND -- After being shut out in 13 innings a day ago, the A's offense fared better on Tuesday but came up short in a 4-3 loss to the Rays at the Coliseum.Trailing 4-1 entering the ninth, the A's rallied to score twice after putting men on second and third
OAKLAND -- After being shut out in 13 innings a day ago, the A's offense fared better on Tuesday but came up short in a 4-3 loss to the Rays at the Coliseum.
Trailing 4-1 entering the ninth, the A's rallied to score twice after putting men on second and third with nobody out, but with two outs and the bases empty, Marcus Semien grounded out to second to end the game.
The A's managed just five hits on the night, but manager Bob Melvin saw improvement from the A's offense against a tough pitcher in Rays starter Blake Snell, who reached 98 mph on the radar gun and mixed four pitches well.
"[Coming] off a tough day, we're not swinging the bat great," Melvin said. "But then we rallied at the end and had some really good at-bats, so I was encouraged by what I saw at the end."
Jed Lowrie's RBI double in the third was the first run in 17 innings for the A's offense, which has struggled offensively at home of late, and slugger Khris Davis' absence after being sent to the disabled list last week has only made matters worse. Oakland has scored more than three runs in a game just once through eight games in this homestand and has managed four runs or fewer in 13 straight home games, its longest such streak since 1973.
A's starter Daniel Gossett, who looked to build upon a strong outing last Wednesday against the Mariners in his return from Triple-A Nashville, instead allowed hard contact in five innings of work, giving up three runs and eight hits.
"Honestly, I didn't feel very good at all," Gossett said. "It could've been a whole lot better, but it also could've been a whole lot worse."
The scoring damage came in quick succession in the form of back-to-back-to-back home runs in the third. After striking out the first two batters in the inning, Gossett gave up solo shots to C.J. Cron, Joey Wendle and Wilson Ramos to put the Rays ahead 3-0. Tampa Bay jumped on almost all of Gossett's pitches -- Cron's homer came on a curveball, Wendle's on a changeup and Ramos' on a fastball -- to give Snell a cushion.
Gossett chalked up the inning to a few bad pitches in a row.
"I wasn't lucky enough to get weak contact on a bad pitch," he said. "We're facing the best of the best. When you're feeding out bad pitches there, you're going to pay for it. Sometimes, you get lucky and sometimes you don't."
Daniel Robertson tacked on an insurance run for the Rays in the ninth with a homer to left against A's reliever Chaz Roe, which proved to be the difference in the game.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Before their ninth-inning rally, the A's had a chance to make noise in the eighth when they also put runners at second and third with nobody out. But Lowrie and Mark Canha struck out and Chad Pinder grounded out to end the threat.
The A's allowed four home runs on the night, matching a season high for a game. Gossett's three homers allowed also tied for most given up by an A's pitcher this season.
"Just a couple of bad pitches in a row," Melvin said. "Obviously you don't see that very often, three homers in a row, but just some elevated pitches."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Third baseman Matt Chapman made another spectacular defensive play on Tuesday, ranging far to his right in foul territory to corral a gounder by Carlos Gomez in the seventh inning and making a long throw to first for the out.
HE SAID IT
"This is a pretty tough game we play. Sometimes it comes around and gets you. Sometimes you skate out. It was just a few bad pitches in a row and they were ready for them, they were on them." -- Gossett, on allowing three straight home runs
The A's will send Sean Manaea to the mound in Wednesday's game, with the southpaw looking to get back on track after posting a 7.18 ERA in his first five May starts. He will face right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who is making his first start for the Rays and his first Major League appearance since 2016. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT at the Coliseum.
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com.