OAKLAND -- The A's had a Wednesday night to forget at the Coliseum: Sean Manaea continued to struggle, the offense was non-existent and the defense committed four errors in a 6-0 loss to the Rays.Jed Lowrie's single with one out in the seventh inning off reliever Wilmer Font broke up
OAKLAND -- The A's had a Wednesday night to forget at the Coliseum: Sean Manaea continued to struggle, the offense was non-existent and the defense committed four errors in a 6-0 loss to the Rays.
Jed Lowrie's single with one out in the seventh inning off reliever Wilmer Font broke up the Rays' no-hit bid. It was the A's only hit of the night in their third straight loss, dropping their record to .500. They have not scored more than four runs in 14 straight home games, tying the longest streak in Oakland history.
"We're struggling [offensively], and it gets contagious and we're going through a bad spell right now," manager Bob Melvin said.
Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi, making his first Major League appearance since 2016 following his second Tommy John surgery, did not allow a hit in six innings, with Matt Chapman's first-inning walk serving as his lone baserunner. He was replaced after 70 pitches by Font, who was traded by the A's to the Rays last week.
Eovaldi hit 98 mph with his fastball, mixing in his slider and splitter. Shortstop Chad Pinder said Eovaldi was just the latest in a string of quality arms the Rays have sent against the A's, with Blake Snell and Chris Archer pitching well in the first two games of the series.
"Hitting's hard enough as it is," Pinder said. "It is our job to do better and have a little more competitive at-bats. You've got to tip your cap sometimes. This game's hard, and those guys are doing a good job on the mound."
Meanwhile, Manaea struggled with his command, and the Rays took advantage. After allowing a run in the second inning, Manaea served up a three-run homer to Rob Refsnyder in the third inning that put the Rays ahead, 4-0.
The southpaw admitted he has gotten in his head too much on the mound.
"I'm just thinking too much, just trying to perfect every little thing," Manaea said. "I'm just thinking way too much out on the mound."
He departed after throwing 95 pitches in five innings, and has allowed four runs or more in all six starts this month for a May ERA of 7.18. It is a far cry from how he began the campaign; Manaea limited opponents to two runs or fewer in each of his first six starts, throwing a no-hitter against the Red Sox on April 21.
Melvin did not think Manaea's workload was affecting his velocity, which dipped into the low 90s mph on Wednesday, but said he will continue to monitor it.
"There's been times where we've gotten him out a little bit early and it looked like today I might have gotten him in the third [inning] after one more hitter, but he was able to give us five and he'll continue to work for his next start," Melvin said.
The Rays added two more runs in the eighth off reliever Danny Coulombe.
The A's have not been no-hit since 1991, the longest active streak in the Majors.
HE SAID IT
"You're never as bad as you are when it seems like it's your worst. You're never at your best when you think you're going great. We've got to find a middle ground somewhere, and I think we're still a good offensive team. We're just not showing it right now." -- Bob Melvin on the A's offensive woes
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Christian Arroyo hit a slow dribbler to the left side with two outs in the seventh inning, but third baseman Chapman charged and threw on the run to get the Rays' second baseman, a call that would stand after a challenge by the Rays.
The A's will send Daniel Mengden to the mound in the series finale on Thursday. Mengden has been pitching well of late, recording a 1.07 ERA in May and not allowing a run in his last two starts. Ryan Stanek (1-0, 3.24 ERA) will toe the slab for the Rays at the Coliseum. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. PT, and the game will air on MLB.TV and MLB Network.
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com.