- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Bob Melvin knows Sonny Gray’s winning streak should still be going. More missed chances, more mistakes defined the day once again.

The Oakland Athletics had ample opportunities to support their ace, and never came through in a 2-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

Gray (4-1) struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter for the first time all season. But the A’s dropped to 1-11 in the daytime with their seventh loss in eight games.

With nine or more strikeouts for the third straight start, Gray was trying to extend his best start to a season. He missed matching his career-best winning streak of six straight decisions dating to his last loss Sept. 23 against the Angels. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his first eight starts.

“I don’t know how you can pitch much better,” Melvin said. “We didn’t give him enough support.”

The A’s stopped a season-high six-game losing streak in Tuesday night’s 9-2 win, but couldn’t build momentum to win back-to-back games against Wade Miley and the Red Sox defense. That’s something they haven’t done since their lone winning streak April 13-14 at Houston.

Melvin made a point before the game of the need for his team to string some success together.

“It sucks because this was a game we more or less we needed to win. You want to win series and we had the opportunity to do that,” Gray said. “We had a lot of chances and Miley made really good pitches when he needed to get out of some trouble.”

Marcus Semien led off the third with a triple but couldn’t score. Josh Reddick followed with an infield popup.

Coco Crisp hit an infield single to begin the fifth for his first hit of the year - snapping an 0-for-26 funk with his first hit in 40 at-bats dating to last Sept. 26 - before Semien grounded into a double play and Reddick flied out for another missed chance.

“It was horrible offense. When we get guys in scoring position, we’ve got to get them in,” Reddick said. “It just keeps happening to us. We can’t seem to do it right now.”

Miley called himself “Houdini” for his escape acts all afternoon.

Facing the A’s for the first time in his five-year career, Miley (2-4) allowed the leadoff batter to reach in four of his first six innings. The left-hander won for the first time since April 21 at Tampa Bay, allowing four walks and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.

“He was outstanding,” manager John Farrell said. “He was resilient with three innings they were getting a number of guys in scoring position with less than two outs. He never gave in.”

Daniel Nava hit an RBI bloop single in the second to snap an 0-for-20 slide and drive in the first run. The Red Sox won on the road for just the fourth time in their last 11 away from Fenway Park.

Boston added an unearned run on shortstop Semien’s wild throw to first in the eighth. Oakland has made errors in 11 straight games and a majors-high 36 in all.

Pablo Sandoval hit a winning home run in the 11th inning Monday night but wrapped up his Bay Area return 1 for 12 and was booed whenever he stepped in the batter’s box. He received his World Series ring from Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Sunday night.

“Nice,” he said. “I got my ring and we got the series.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Boston plans to place RHP Justin Masterson on the disabled list Thursday because of arm fatigue that has caused a drop in velocity in his last two starts, both losses. Steven Wright is likely to take his rotation spot to start Sunday at Seattle.

Athletics: Utilityman Ben Zobrist, recovering from left knee surgery, will continue hitting batting practice and could begin a rehab assignment when the team hits the road following this weekend’s series with the Chicago White Sox.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly makes his second career start against the Mariners as Boston concludes its season-long 10-game road trip by opening a four-game series at Safeco Field. He threw five scoreless innings opposite Felix Hernandez in a no-decision last Aug. 22 at Fenway Park.

Athletics: Off Thursday. RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) looks to end a three-start winless streak in which he has lost his last two starts when the A’s open a weekend series Friday against the White Sox.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide