Milone, anemic offense doom A's vs. Rangers

Milone frank when describing his outing against Rangers

Milone, anemic offense doom A's vs. Rangers
August 2, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Tommy Milone lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits and six runs in the A's 8-3 loss to the Rangers. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

"I wasn't able to get anything going and they were able to take advantage of my mistakes."

-Tommy Milone after 8-3 loss to Texas

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- It would be easy to simply point the finger at a helpless Tommy Milone after the A's 8-3 defeat against Texas Friday night and be done with it.

The A's left hander was handed a two-run lead in the first inning and could only last 3 2/3 innings, getting bounced by a dominant Rangers offense.

"Pretty terrible," Milone said. "I wasn't able to get anything going and they were able to take advantage of my mistakes."

While Milone was talking about himself, he could just as easily have been referring to the A's neutered-of-late offense. Oakland stranded 10 runners and was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

[Instant Replay: Rangers roll over Milone, A's]

The past two games combined, the A's have left 20 runners on base while going 1-for-19 with RISP, making Sunday and Monday night, when their bats seemed to come out of hibernation, fool's gold.

"It is frustrating," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "We're getting the opportunities and if you continue to give yourself opportunities you're going to break through. And it did seem like we were swinging the bats the way we were capable of and then we've been stagnant since.

"We're getting base runners, we're just not getting the big hit when we need it."

Sunday, the A's spotted the Los Angeles Angels a 5-0 lead, before roaring back to win, 10-6. Monday, the A's thumped Toronto, 9-4, and were thisclose to taking a seven-game lead in the American League West over Texas.

But the Rangers began a run of three-straight walk-off wins against the Angels that night, and after Friday night's game, Texas is suddenly just 2 1/2 games behind the A's.

Oakland has been outscored by a cumulative 18-5 in its last three games and has now lost three straight for the first time since dropping five in a row from May 6-10 in a four-game sweep at Cleveland and losing the opener at Seattle.

Perhaps toughest to take for the A's in this game, though, was how early and often they had Rangers starter Alexi Ogando on the ropes. Ogando needed 60 pitches to get through two innings.

"I felt like we were having good at-bats, we were making (Ogando) work," said A's first baseman Brandon Moss, who had two of Oakland's seven hits, including a two-run double in the first inning.

"He was getting in trouble and getting his pitch count up and we were extending at-bats and he was still able to get outs."

Ogando walked five, gave up four hits, only struck out one and lasted a mere four innings. No matter.

"Once you put it in play, you can't control where it goes," said Moss, who is batting .342 (12 for 35) over his last 10 games.

"Sometimes it happens. I think any of us would have taken, instead of hitting maybe two or three balls hard, we would have taken (A.J.) Pierzynski's night, where he broke three bats but had three RBIs. But that's baseball, you know? Stuff like that happens all the time."

It just seems more noticeable with the A's this week.