Rays swept out of Oakland with 5-1 loss
Starting veteran reliever Jamey Wright turned out to be only a small part of the Rays problem Sunday in a 5-1 loss that made for a clean sweep by the A's and the seventh loss in their last eight games.
The lack of offense was again the bigger issue, as the Rays were held to one run and six hits. In the eight games they have scored only 17 runs and are batting barely above .200.
The Rays dropped to 75-60, falling 5 1/2 games behind the AL East leading Red Sox and 2 1/2 games behind the wild-card leading A's, and only 3 ahead of the Orioles for the second wild card.
Wright, who was the first of several planned relievers, allowed a leadoff home run to Coco Crisp and then loaded the bases in the first, but gave up just the run. LHP Alex Torres worked 3 1/3 impressive innings after that, though a two-base throwing error by 3B Evan Longoria in the third led to a 2-1 Oakland lead. A home run by former Ray Stephen Vogt off Jake McGee in the seventh made it 3-1. And the A's tacked on from there against Josh Lueke and Cesar Ramos, the sixth and seventh Rays pitchers.
The Rays got a second inning home run by James Loney, his first since July 26 and second since June 24, but nothing else.
As usual, they had chances.
As has been the case lately, they didn't do anything with them,
Down 2-1 in the sixth, they got a one-out double from David DeJesus, but Ben Zobrist grounded out - on a great play by 1B Daric Barton - and with DeJesus on third, struggling Longoria struck out.
The next inning they got a two-out double by struggling Wil Myers and then a single by also struggling Desmond Jennings, but Myers was thrown out at the plate. It at least was entertaining as Myers eluded Vogt's initial tag with a wide slide and then dove toward the plate and was tagged the second time.
Down 3-1 in the eighth after Vogt's homer, the Rays had another shot when Kelly Johnson led off with a pinch-hit double. But pinch-hitter Luke Scott, batting vs. lefty Sean Doolittle, struck out in his first at-bat since coming off the DL, then Delmon Young flied out to right in his debut and and Ben Zobrist did the same.