ST. PETERSBURG — Consider Wednesday's game as the latest example of how bad things are going for the Rays: They threw a one-hitter and still lost.
Despite the efforts of starter Erik Bedard and four relievers, the Rays lost to the A's 3-2, done in by a pair of infield errors and yet another night of unproductive offense.
"A really strange loss," manager Joe Maddon. "I'm smiling only because it was such an awkward way to lose."
It was the ninth one-hitter the Rays have pitched in franchise history, and the first time they lost. And it was the first time the A's won a regular-season game with one hit since at least 1914. (They won Game 4 of the 1974 ALCS with one hit.)
Overall, Tampa Bay dropped to 19-28, having lost for the 11th time in its past 15 games overall and ninth in the past 10 at home.
"We're struggling pretty bad," Wil Myers said.
"It's frustrating for everybody," Bedard said.
Even a dose of domefield advantage in the ninth couldn't help. With one out Logan Forsythe's popup struck the staircase between the top two catwalk rings and was ruled a single, and withstood an instant replay review, giving the Rays hope for their first walkoff win.
"You're wanting to believe that," Maddon said. "You're looking for that moment."
Maddon eschewed the bunt as Ryan Hanigan popped out — "I don't want to give up an out right there" — then Myers battled through 11 pitches with reliever Sean Doolittle before striking out to end it.
"It's tough,'' Myers said. "The thing about tonight what I liked is us battling back.''
But close is becoming old news.
"The last homestand we played that game a lot where we came down to the very end and had a chance to win and could not get the winning hit, the walkoff kind of a hit," Maddon said. "I still believe it is forthcoming.''
The red-hot A's took a 3-0 lead, getting two runs in the second as a result of throwing errors by shortstop Yunel Escobar, who sailed his, then second baseman Sean Rodriguez, who rushed his on what would have been an inning-ending double play, the second time in franchise history the Rays allowed at least two runs in an inning without a hit.
"We've made mistakes on defense that have hurt us," Maddon said. "And they're really standing out because we have not hit through the mistake."
The A's added another run in the fourth when Brandon Moss got their only hit, a two-out, two-strike lefty-vs.-lefty homer off Bedard, the first he has allowed since September, a streak of 49⅓ innings.
"Just hung a pitch, and he hit it over,'' Bedard said.
"He threw a strike, so I swung,'' Moss said.
That was enough as the last-place Rays, had 11 baserunners — nine hits and two walks — but managed only two runs. Then again, having been shut out twice in their past three games and scoring in only two of their past 37, it was some something. In their past eight games, the Rays have 16 runs.
Marc Topkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.