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A’s fall in extras again, lose 8th in a row

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Oakland Athletics left fielder Matt Joyce (23) swings at a Los Angeles Angels pitch at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, on September 5, 2017. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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OAKLAND — Ben Revere’s 10th-inning tailing line drive snuck just below the glove of Matt Joyce, the offense couldn’t buy a hitter with runners in scoring position and the Oakland A’s sank to an eighth consecutive loss on Tuesday night at the Coliseum.

With the back-to-back extra-innings defeats, the A’s have now dropped eight in a row for the first time since 2012, falling to an on going season worst 22 games under .500 (58-80)  

“When you hit three home runs and you score as many runs as we did, you expect to win those games,” manager Bob Melvin said after the latest setback. “The problem is we can’t hold the other team down.”

“When you have offensive days like we had today, you should win those games,” Melvin added.

Revere’s top of the 10th inning single off Blake Treinen proved to be the difference. Revere’s run-scoring hit landed just beyond the reach of Matt Joyce who trapped the ball between the grass and his glove, allowing Kaleb Cowart to score

Back in the fifth inning, Matt Olson, the A’s towering rookie first baseman, stepped to the plate and did what has become routine. Olson turned on a 96 mph four-seam fastball from Blake Wood, depositing it some 414 feet from the plate.

For the A’s, the blast was the second in as many batters and the third of the four-run fifth. For Olson, the homer was his seventh in eight games and his 15th in 42.

Olson’s drive, which had been preceded by a two-run shot by Khris Davis and a solo homer for Matt Joyce, had briefly given the club a 5-4 lead.

“He’s doing great,” Melvin said of Olson. “And we do. We have bounce-back innings. I think what cost us tonight, at least early on, was our situational at bats. Other than when Joyce had the sac fly to tie it up, I think we were 0-for-5 in situational at bats with a runner on third. In close games like that, that costs you.”

Half an inning earlier, Kendall Graveman’s night had drawn to a close. Throwing 103 pitches across five innings, Graveman let in four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out a trio of Angels.

“He gave us five innings. He had the one inning that was the battle for him. He was pitch away, or one batter away from leaving. He was at 40 pitches, which is max for me. He ends up getting the out and ends up giving us five.

“We do need a little more out of our starters,” Melvin said. “It’s tough to cover that much of the game every night.”

kbuscheck@sfexaminer.com

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