Programming note: A’s-Rangers coverage kicks off today at 12:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California
OAKLAND – Chris Resop sat at his locker Tuesday night and fielded the questions he knew were coming.
He didn’t deflect criticism after he yielded two homers in the top of the 10th that made the difference in the A’s 6-5 come-from-ahead loss to the Texas Rangers.
If anything, Resop opened up about his glaring struggles so far in 2013. His calm, detailed and honest responses almost seemed to be therapeutic for the veteran reliever.
[REWIND: Instant Replay: A's squander golden opportunity in 10th]
“You hate to be the guy who let your team down,” Resop said. “You feel terrible. This is a game where you come together as 25 guys , and one staff, everybody is trying to win a ballgame. You do everything you can, and at the end of the day it all (falls on) one person. That’s the nature of the beast, unfortunately.”
Of course, the blame didn’t fall solely on Resop for a loss in which the A’s fought from behind and led 4-3 going into the eighth inning.
Fellow reliever Ryan Cook gave up the tying run in the eighth after allowing two singles and a sacrifice fly to Nelson Cruz. That marked the first run Cook has allowed in 10 career appearances against Texas.
The A’s had a golden opportunity to pull this one out in the bottom of the 10th trailing 6-4. Derek Norris and John Jaso walked with one out. Seth Smith doubled home a run to make it 6-5, and the A’s were in business with runners on second and third.
An intentional walk to Brandon Moss loaded the bases, but Daric Barton went down swinging and pinch hitter Eric Sogard grounded to second on the first pitch from Joe Nathan to end it.
The pie was ready for another classic walk-off victory. But Tuesday’s game didn’t go as planned for the A’s, and Resop’s first season in Oakland’s bullpen hasn’t gone the way he wants it to.
He was obtained in an offseason trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates, a versatile reliever who is hoping to get his first taste of the postseason in a big league career that began in 2005.
Resop, 30, gave up zero earned runs over his first seven appearances this season, but he’s surrendered 12 earned runs in his last 11 outings for a 9.25 ERA.
He was asked if he could put his finger on what’s going haywire during his rough stretch.
"If I could I would have by now," he said. "This game can be crazy. You see hitters, and you can’t get them out. And all of a sudden (sometimees) they can’t get a hit. … I’m going after guys the same way, my stuff’s the same. ... I feel like I’m throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys for the most part. I really can’t put a finger on it.”
Adrian Beltre had the green light on a 3-0 count in the 10th, and he crushed a Resop fastball over the wall in left-center. Two batters later,
Mitch Moreland hit his second homer of the night on a 1-2 pitch in which Resop was trying to elevate, but didn’t go high enough in the strike zone. Moreland’s blast made it 6-4.
These are games the A’s, and their fans, are used to pulling out after last year’s magical run to the division title. They’ve picked up where they left off, as they entered Tuesday night tied for the American League lead with three walk-off victories.
The drama was there Tuesday, so was the fire. Manager Bob Melvin earned his third ejection in the past week-and-a-half, arguing vehemently with first-base umpire D.J. Reyburn on a bang-bang play involving Barton in the eighth.
Melvin said after the game he saw the replay and believed Reyburn got the call right, but even his ejection was a symbol of the spirit his team has shown in mounting so many comeback victories.
Things didn’t follow script Tuesday.
“All of a sudden, you look up and we’ve tied the game and we take the lead and we always feel like here at home, when we take the lead and have our bullpen ready to come in , we’re gonna win the game,” Melvin said. “It just didn’t work out this time.”
--There was one bit of postgame news: Outfielder Michael Taylor was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, likely to clear a spot for Coco Crisp to come off the disabled list for Wednesday afternoon’s game.