The hottest lineup in the American League went cold for three days against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Roberto Hernandez pitched six effective innings Sunday for his first win since he was known as Fausto Carmona, and the Rays completed a sweep of the A’s with an 8-1 victory.
The A’s, who still lead the league in run production, batted .179 without a home run and scored only four runs in the three-game series.
“I’d be stupid to blame it all on the offense and not give their pitching staff credit,” said Brandon Moss, who went 0-for-4 as Oakland’s cleanup hitter Sunday. “They did an outstanding job of keeping us off-balance all series. … Obviously we didn’t do our jobs today, or I know I didn’t with guys in scoring position, but they made some really good pitches.”
Despite getting only three hits Sunday, the A’s had several chances for big innings and left nine men on base.
“We’ve been very good about getting big hits this season in those situations,” said manager Bob Melvin. “We just didn’t in this series.”
Hernandez (1-3) allowed one run, three hits, three walks and had seven strikeouts in his first win since Sept. 20, 2011, while with Cleveland.
The 32-year old right-hander was arrested in January 2012 in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges — as Carmona. They were dropped after he completed a work program.
Oakland starter Tommy Milone (3-1) had his season-opening three-game winning streak end. The left-hander gave up six runs and eight hits over 6²?³ innings.
Oakland went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position against Hernandez, and 1-for-13 overall. The A’s had three hits in 25 at-bats in the series with runners in scoring position.
“So you just move on. Don’t dwell on it. You’ve got to take your losses, take your lumps just like you take your wins,” Moss said.