Erik Bedard Sees Another Solid Effort Wasted
The Tampa Bay Rays were defeated by the Oakland Athletics to fall nine game below the .500 mark fell at 19-28. The loss went to Erik Bedard (2-2, 2.63 ERA) and Tommy Milone (2-3, 3.99 ERA) earned the win for the A’s who improve their record to 30-16.
A quality start in baseball statistics is when a starting pitcher goes at least six innings and gives up less than three earned runs. By definition Erik Bedard did not provide the Tampa Bay Rays with a quality start but it’s certainly difficult to find any fault with his outing. He delivered 5.1 innings allowing three runs (one earned) on only one hit striking out six and walking three.
His defense let him down in the second inning as Yunel Escobar‘s throwing error allowed Yoenis Cespedes to reach base to lead off the inning. Then an inning ending double play ball was sent to second baseman Sean Rodriguez who threw wildly past Escobar at second allowing both Cespedes and Derek Norris to score as the A’s jumped out to a 2-0 advantage.
The only hit Bedard allowed ended up being the difference in the game as Brandon Moss connected on an 0-2 curveball for his 10th home run which gave the A’s a 3-0 lead.
It was a unique loss for the Rays as they had never had a pitching staff allow just one run and lose a game but it’s not unique to Erik Bedard.
On July 20th of last season he was on the mound for the Houston Astros against the Seattle Mariners and went 6.1 innings of no hit ball. After he departed the game the Houston bullpen only allowed one hit but lost by a final score of 4-2.
Joel Peralta came in to work the 8th inning and pitched himself into trouble by walking leadoff hitter Nick Punto who moved into scoring position with 1-out after John Jaso walked. Peralta came back to strike out Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes to escape any damage and keep the A’s lead at just one run.
The Rays fought back in the bottom of the inning off Luke Gregerson who opened the inning by striking out Evan Longoria looking before giving up a single to James Loney who was replaced by pinch runner Kevin Kiermaier. Matt Joyce came off the bench to pinch hit for Brandon Guyer and delivered a single that moved Kiermaier to third base.
David DeJesus was announced as the pinch hitter for Sean Rodriguez and A’s manager countered by summoning lefty Fernando Abad in from the bullpen. DeJesus was facing a left handed pitcher for only the third time on the season but this didn’t take away his batting eye as he worked a walk to load the bases for Yunel Escobar.
In what has become an all to familiar outcome in key situations Escobar grounded into the inning ending double play.
Grant Balfour came in for the first time since Friday night and issued back to back walks to Derek Norris and Brandon Moss before striking out Erik Sogard for the first out and getting Josh Reddick to ground into a force out at second base to put runners on the corners with two out.
Reddick moved up to second on defensive indifference to put runners at 2nd and 3rd but Balfour struck out Nick Punto to end the inning.
Sean Doolittle came in to shut the Rays down in the ninth to pick up his fourth save on the season and the second in as many nights.