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Manaea shows moxie, but A's get blanked in LA

April 11, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- The A's were on the wrong end of a no-hit bid yet again, this time at the mercy of Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.Not even Sean Manaea, who entered the day with a 1.15 ERA, could save them from a second straight woozy offensive performance.Oakland came up with

LOS ANGELES -- The A's were on the wrong end of a no-hit bid yet again, this time at the mercy of Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Not even Sean Manaea, who entered the day with a 1.15 ERA, could save them from a second straight woozy offensive performance.
Oakland came up with just one hit in six innings off Ryu -- a two-out single by Stephen Piscotty in the fifth -- and five total on Tuesday night, which ended in a 4-0 Interleague loss. This, after being held to one hit by Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani in seven innings on Sunday.
Monday's off-day did little to ignite these A's, who have a combined eight hits in their last two games.
"We're not squaring too many balls up right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Now, Ohtani pitched really well. Today, a lot of cutters, a lot of backdoor cutters, a lot of changeups, just kept us off balance. So I don't see hopefully a trend, but we get another tough customer tomorrow and we do have to come out and put a little pressure on the starting pitcher."
Winless in four games started by an opposing left-handed pitcher, the A's will attempt to buck the trend Wednesday against Alex Wood, who has yielded just three runs over his first 14 innings of work this season.
Manaea, so good in his first two outings, was done in by back-to-back homers from Chris Taylor and Corey Seager that sunk the A's in a 2-0 hole in the first. The lefty settled down and didn't allow another run in his five innings of work, scattering seven hits.
"We got beat on two fastballs on those two home runs early on, and after that we started mixing," A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "They were all over his heater, so we had to start mixing in the changeup and the slider. Just had to make a real quick adjustment there but we got burned real quick on those first two hitters."

In offering zero run support, the A's were shut out for the first time this season -- though they've already been held to one run or fewer on four occasions in 12 games. They racked up eight strikeouts against Ryu, after whiffing 12 times against Ohtani.
"I think Ryu threw well," Lucroy said. "Didn't make hardly any mistakes. To me, he made maybe one. Everything else was down, maybe up, or something soft in a fastball count. His cutter was really good. He can backdoor it, he can throw it in on righties, and he kept it down. Whenever it's down like that it's really hard to square up."
Each of Khris Davis' two trips to the plate against Ryu ended in a strikeout, but the A's outfielder put an 0-for-12 stretch to rest with a single in the seventh against lefty Tony Cingrani. He added another base hit in the ninth off right-hander Thomas Stripling, and Matt Olson followed suit, forcing the Dodgers to call on closer Kenley Jansen for the remaining two outs.
"We're just not swinging great at the moment," Melvin said. "It was good to see KD get a couple hits there. We really need him to get hot, but they just pitched us pretty well today."
Nothing historic: Piscotty, who was drafted by the Dodgers in 2009 but didn't sign, broke up Ryu's no-hitter with two out in the fifth inning with a bouncer up the middle just out of the reach of shortstop Seager. Dodgers second baseman Enrique Hernandez kept Piscotty out of scoring position when he raced out to shallow center field and with his back to the plate caught Jake Smolinski's popup.

Hendriks struggles: The A's were down by just a pair of runs entering the sixth inning, still very much in the game and readying to alter it at any moment. But it quickly fell further out of reach in the sixth, when right-hander Liam Hendriks offered up a leadoff homer to Matt Kemp, followed by back-to-back hits to Cody Bellinger and John Forsythe for a 4-0 Dodgers lead that would remain intact. Hendriks walked his next batter, failing to record an out before Danny Coulombe replaced him.

"I told myself it was going to be all right and still kind of had a smile on my face. That's how I've been dealing with things, not take it way too seriously, and you just gotta go out there and keep pitching. I tried to do that today." -- Manaea, on rebounding from the first-inning homers
Semien extended his hitting streak to eight games with his eighth-inning double. He is the only Athletic to reach base safely in all 12 games.
Right-hander Daniel Mengden will seek his first win of the season when he takes on the Dodgers at 7:10 p.m. PT on Wednesday to cap this two-game Interleague series. Mengden has allowed eight earned runs in his first 11 innings this season.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jane Lee** has covered the A's for since 2010.