ANAHEIM – How quickly can prosperity turn to frustration? Just ask Oakland A’s hitters.
That never-ending well they were dipping into for run production went dry in a span of two days. They fell 3-1 to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, giving them back-to-back losses for the first time since a three-game losing streak Aug. 20-23.
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Oakland hung 10 runs on the Angels in Monday’s series opener but managed just one run and 10 hits combined in losing Tuesday and Wednesday. The A’s fell 1 ½ games behind Boston for the American League’s No. 1 playoff seed pending the Red Sox’s game Wednesday night at Colorado.
Jered Weaver followed up Jason Vargas’ four-hitter Tuesday by holding Oakland to one run over seven innings Wednesday.
The A’s take Thursday off before closing the regular season with three games in Seattle, hoping to locate their missing offensive mojo in the Pacific Northwest.
Starting pitching report
Dan Straily (10-8) turned in a solid effort in his final start of the regular season. He allowed three runs (one earned) over 6 2/3 innings and had a four-game winning streak snapped. It could very well have represented the right-hander’s final outing of 2013, as he could be left out of Oakland’s four-man playoff starting rotation. He finished the regular season with a 3.96 ERA.
A bright side for the A’s was the relief work of Ryan Cook. Manager Bob Melvin called Cook’s scoreless outing Sunday a “baby step” in the right direction as he tries to escape his recent funk. Cook relieved Brett Anderson with one out and a runner on in the eighth inning and retired his only two batters, including a strikeout of Mark Trumbo.
At the plate
The A’s -- playing without MVP candidate Josh Donaldson, who got the day off – managed precious little hard contact Wednesday afternoon. Their only run came in the sixth, when Jed Lowrie’s sacrifice fly cut their deficit to 3-1.
In the field
The Angels’ two-run fifth was aided by an Oakland error, when first baseman Daric Barton couldn’t secure Alberto Callaspo’s throw from third on Andrew Romine’s bunt.
A’s right fielder Josh Reddick made a terrific play in the third. J.B. Shuck singled toward the right field corner and tried to leg out a double, but Reddick cut the ball off, spun and threw a strike to second base to nail him.
The Angels continue to draw decent despite a disappointing season. A crowd of 36,226 was on hand for the finale of this three-game series.
The A’s final regular-season series begins with a marquee pitching matchup Friday, as Bartolo Colon (17-6, 2.64) faces off against Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (12-9, 2.99). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. at Safeco Field.