ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS / AP) — The Oakland Athletics lost both their starting pitcher and season-opening road winning streak.
Brett Anderson left after one inning with a sprained right ankle in Oakland’s 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Tampa Bay scored four times in the first off Anderson (1-3), who hurt the ankle on a pitch to his final batter, Yunel Escobar, who eventually hit an inning-ending grounder.
“It’s pretty sore, a little swollen,” Anderson said. “It’s kind of early to tell the severity of it. It’s kind of depressing. I didn’t roll it. It was one pitch to Escobar where I don’t know if my heel hit too hard and kind of jarred something there or what. Just landed a little wrong.”
Oakland manager Bob Melvin couldn’t immediately say whether Anderson would make his next start.
“I really won’t know until tomorrow,” Melvin said.
Anderson allowed four runs, four hits and two walks during a 36-pitch inning.
“To start this road trip, you want your No. 1 guy to go out there and log some innings,” Anderson said. “You go out there and throw one inning, and put your bullpen in jeopardy for the rest of the series, for the rest of the road trip.”
Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Ben Zobrist had a pair of RBI singles for the Rays, who stopped Oakland’s strong road start. The Athletics went 6-0 on against Houston and the Los Angeles Angels on their first trip earlier this month.
Jose Lobaton also drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to back the pitching of Alex Cobb (2-1), who allowed three runs and 10 hits over 7 1-3 innings.
Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie, who went 4 for 4, had run-scoring singles off Cobb in the first for the A’s. Coco Crisp extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning double and added a solo homer off Cobb in the seventh.
Oakland loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth before Fernando Rodney—in a non-save situation—struck out John Jaso and got Seth Smith to ground into a game-ending double play.
“You always want to keep grinding and try to get the closer in the game, which we did,” Melvin said. “He threw some pitches. We had him on the ropes, but he got out of it. It’s kind of who we are and try to be is not go down quietly. Again, we had the bases loaded and we just couldn’t do anything with it.”
Longoria homered for the fourth time in five games and has reached base safely in each of the Rays’ 16 games. Only two players in franchise history have had longer streaks to begin a season—Rocco Baldelli (24 in 2003) and Jorge Cantu (20 in 2005).
The Tampa Bay star went deep in the fourth inning off Evan Scribner, who allowed an RBI single to Ryan Roberts in the third and Zobrist earlier in the fourth.
“I think Longo is definitely getting toasty,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Before Lobaton’s hit made it 4-2, the Rays had gone 0 for 12 with the bases loaded this season. Four of Tampa Bay’s first five runs were driven in by the bottom half of the batting order, with the switch-hitting Lobaton and Roberts each picking up their first RBIs of the year.
Oakland, which had won three straight, scored twice in the first before a baserunning mistake cost them a chance for an even bigger inning. Moss was tagged out in a rundown between first and second base on his RBI single, helping Cobb escape the jam and settle in after a shaky start. The A’s didn’t have another man reach base until Lowrie singled leading off the fourth.
Lowrie ended Cobb’s night with a one-out double in the eighth.
NOTES: A moment of silence was observed to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. … Lobaton’s two-run single snapped Tampa Bay’s string of 14 consecutive at-bats without a hit with the bases-loaded, a stretch that began last Sept. 21. … Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes (strained left hand muscle) is playing catch but hasn’t resumed swinging a bat. “The swelling is down, the range of motion is getting better each and every day,” Melvin said. … Oakland INF Hiro Nakajima (strained left hamstring) will join the Athletics’ extended spring training team on Monday. … Oakland INF Adam Rosales (strained left intercostal muscle) is expected to remain on a minor league rehab through the middle of next week. … The A’s reinstated Moss from the paternity list and optioned OF-INF Shane Peterson to Triple-A Sacramento. Moss had two hits off Cobb.
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