- Associated Press - Saturday, August 22, 2015

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Chris Bassitt wasn’t fooling anyone with his pitch location. Almost everything the Athletics’ pitcher threw wound up going down the middle of the plate.

That he allowed only one run over 6 2-3 innings in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday night was of little consolation to Bassitt, even though his skipper seemed pretty pleased.

Bassitt gave up six hits and lowered his ERA to 2.48 but took the loss, his first in four starts, after an Oakland rally in the ninth fell short.

“Tonight was aggravating in general because nothing I was throwing was going where I wanted it to go,” said Bassitt, who struck out three and walked two. “I don’t know if it was the off day or what. I was just extremely effectively wild. I wasn’t what I wanted.”

Neither was the A’s offense, at least for the first eight innings.

They strung together three consecutive hits off Rays closer Brad Boxberger in the ninth, scoring their lone run on Coco Crisp’s RBI single. Boxberger, who leads all major league relievers with nine losses, pitched out of the jam by striking out Marcus Semien then getting Billy Burns to pop out.

“We’re down to the last at-bat and a hit right there, we can potentially win the game,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We had some good at bats in the last inning. Probably not as good earlier in the game.”

Drew Smyly pitched into the sixth inning for his first win in more than 11 months while Desmond Jennings drove in both runs for Tampa Bay with an RBI single in the second and a home run in the ninth.

Making his second start since missing more than three months with a torn labrum and tendonitis in his pitching shoulder, Smyly (1-2) gave up seven hits and struck out two in 5 2-3 innings.

The Rays made it stand up despite struggling with runners in scoring position.

Grady Sizemore was stranded at second after hitting a leadoff double in the sixth. Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the fifth and seventh but failed to score each time.

The A’s also had problems offensively.

Smyly worked out of a pair of jams early in the game and pumped his fist after striking out Billy Burns to end the fifth. It was an emotional moment for the Rays veteran pitcher who last won on Aug. 27, 2014.

“He had a really good feel of the off-speed pitches,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “He got a lot of weak fly balls, pop-ups, some misses in there. He was very sharp.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: LHP Jake McGee underwent surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee on Friday and could be sidelined up to two months. McGee was injured in Tuesday’s loss at Houston.

Athletics: 1B Ike Davis will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. Davis, who missed 33 games earlier this year with a strained quad, was placed on the disabled list Tuesday. … INF Brett Lawrie returned to the lineup after missing two days with a strained lat. … LF Coco Crisp went 2-for-4 after also sitting out two games. … INF Tyler Ladendorf was reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Nashville.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (10-4) has been one of Tampa Bay’s most successful pitchers over the past three months but hasn’t had much luck against the A’s. Ramirez has lost in his last five starts against Oakland and is 0-6 in eight career appearances.

Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (12-5) carries his AL-leading 2.04 ERA into Saturday’s evening start. Gray has two shutouts and three complete games over his previous eight starts.


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