A's bullpen takes a step back
LOS ANGELES -- The A's busted out for four runs in the seventh and were one strike away from exiting the inning with a three-run lead intact when the floodgates burst open and their bullpen reenacted a familiar scene in vintage fashion.
A game they once led the Dodgers, 6-3, was lost by a 10-7 margin Wednesday night.
"We had two outs with a 1-2 count in the seventh, no runs in, and the next thing you know," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "we didn't have a lead anymore."
Right-hander Fernando Rodriguez issued his second walk of the inning to Howie Kendrick, putting runners on first and third for Adrian Gonzalez, who became the first left-handed hitter to record an extra-base hit off southpaw Drew Pomeranz this year when he connected with an elevated curveball for an RBI double to right-center field.
Yasmani Grandal's ensuing dribbler down the third-base line ended a nine-pitch at-bat that led to another run, and Kiké Hernandez put the Dodgers on top, 7-6, with a two-run double.
"They're a pretty aggressive team," Pomeranz said. "I left some balls over the plate and they did what they're supposed to do."
"Usually you don't see his curveball get hit, whether it's up or down in the zone," Melvin said. [Gonzalez] is a real good left-handed hitter that has had some success off lefties before, but he's throwing the ball over the plate. If you hit 'em, you hit 'em. It's when we're walking guys and putting guys on when we have a lead that really hurts."
Rodriguez, who had not issued a walk in each of his previous four outings, acknowledged as much.
"I didn't make that third strike," he said. "I was trying to miss too much of the bat and not going after the guys. It just got out of hand. The biggest thing is walks. Sometimes it's better to throw a ball right down the middle. Walks always kill you, always come back to bite you, and unfortunately it happened tonight."
Yasiel Puig, who had already homered in the fourth off starter Jesse Chavez, added an RBI single to his night against right-hander Dan Otero to cap off the five-run inning. The Dodgers scored twice more in the eighth.
An A's bullpen that had posted a 2.80 ERA since the All-Star break finished with seven earned runs allowed, enduring its 19th loss.
"It's been tough for us this year, it has," Melvin said. "Recently, we've been pretty good. We've probably had our best streak with the bullpen here recently, but not tonight."