A’s red-hot July is over

OAKLAND — Tampa Bay has found a nice trend to try to wriggle back into the AL East and wild-card
races.

The Rays won three consecutive series on one road trip — and for the first time ever, they did so against three teams above .500. Tampa Bay wrapped the final series of the trip with a 4-1 victory over the A’s at the Oakland Coliseum, cooling off July’s hottest team for the second game in a row.

Alex Cobb followed up James Shields’ three-hit shutout Tuesday with a strong effort Wednesday.

Cobb (4-6) allowed four hits, one walk and one run in his seven innings. The one run was a homer by Brandon Inge, the first homer ever by a right-handed batter off Cobb. He had not allowed a homer in 219 plate appearances against right-handers.

Inge’s homer, which was hit to left field leading off the fifth, extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a team high.

“He did a great job getting strike one all day,” Inge said of Cobb. “All day he was jumping ahead, he was 0-2 on a lot of guys. He was making his pitching and he wasn’t giving us anything we could do any damage with. He threw a lot more curveballs. He did good.”

Oakland has lost consecutive games for the first time since dropping three in a row to Texas (June 28-30).

“We had a good month, we really did,” A’s starter Jarrod Parker said. “It’s weird for it to be quiet after the game — we’re always playing music. There’s not too many times after games where we’re not.”

Parker (7-5) gave up eight hits, three walks and three runs in six innings. The Oakland rookie had won five of his previous six decisions.

A’s right fielder Josh Reddick, the team’s top all-around player much of the season, went 0-for-4 to extend his hitless streak to a career-high 21 at-bats.

— The Sports Xchange via Reuters

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