The Oakland A's made the most out of the least on Wednesday night, which is the modus operandi of any successful team or organization. However, they took it to a pretty extreme level in their 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
First baseman Brandon Moss slugged a two-out, solo home run in the fourth, and that would prove to be Oakland's only hit during their MLB leading 30th victory. Moss' homer extended Oakland's lead to 3-0 at that point. They actually managed to plate two runs in the second inning on two walks and two Rays errors, including a two-run throwing error by shortstop Sean Rodriguez.
According to David Feldman on Twitter, it's the A's first ever regular season win with only one hit, and the first in franchise history since Game 4 of the 1974 ALCS, when they defeated the Baltimore Orioles 2-1. According to A's manager Bob Melvin, it's the first time he's been on a winning team with one hit since childhood.
Bob Melvin thinks the only time he's been part of winning a game while recording just one hit was in Little League in Menlo Park. #Athletics
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 22, 2014
Unfortunately for the Rays, they were on the wrong side of the score despite collecting nine hits of their own. Their biggest frustration came in the eighth inning when Yunel Escobar grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. They became the 11th team since 1914 to allow three or more runs on one hit or less in a loss.
Moss declares that a one-hit win is much better than a one-hit loss, but it's not exactly the easiest way to win a game. #Athletics
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 22, 2014
Now that's just rubbing it in.
SNAKEBITTEN SAMARDZIJA: Life isn't fair, and neither is baseball. Just ask Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija's, who lowered his ERA to an MLB best 1.46 after seven scoreless innings on Wednesday, yet went home without a victory for the tenth time in ten starts after the New York Yankees rallied to tie the score in the ninth inning and went on to win 4-2 in 13 innings.
Samardzija watched on helplessly as New York loaded the bases with no outs against Cubs closer Hector Rondon. Then there was a little bit of hope when Ichiro Suzuki sent a grounder to shortstop Starlin Castro for a possible rally-killing double play. However, second baseman Darwin Barney's relay throw skipped by Anthony Rizzo, allowing two runs to score on the play.
It was the same old story for Samardzija, and you can tell he's getting tired of the story. On this occasion, he would have relished the opportunity to pitch a little deeper. Especially given the circumstance. His pitch count following seven innings was only 95, which is a pretty efficient number.
''I've got a lot left,'' Samardzija said. ''I feel good. You take it with how it goes. It doesn't always go the right way.'
As someone who pitched in the bullpen, he also pointed out the difficulties of relievers pitching in a day-game after a night-game.
''I understand how hard it is to do that - to go out every day, especially when you pitched the night before in a long game in bad weather, to come back in a day game,'' Samardzija said. ''To come back in a day game the next day, it's tough to do.'
Cubs manager Rick Renteria obviously didn't feel the same way, and his decision may have ultimately cost his team a victory.
RYU SOLID IN RETURN TO DODGERS: The Dodgers needed a little good news coming off Tuesday's bizarre incident involving Miguel Olivo and Alex Guerrero, along with the hamstring injury to Juan Uribe. They got it on Wednesday, as left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu returned to the rotation and never missed a beat in their 4-3 victory over the New York Mets.
Ryu allowed two runs on nine hits over his six innings. The only blemish coming on Eric Campbell's two-run homer in his final inning. He also struck out a season-high nine, so he had everything working from a pitching standpoint. He just lacked the stamina, which will obviously come over time.
''I was faithful to my rehab and what the trainers told me. I felt good. I felt ready, mentally,'' Ryu said through a translator. ''I'm glad to be back and eager to get the team going in a winning direction.''
The Dodgers are eager to get things rolling as well. A healthy Ryu goes a long toward making that possible.
ENCARNACION STAYS HOT: You know a streaky hitter is hot when his manager leaves him in the lineup against a pitcher he tradionally struggles against. Such was the case with Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who got the nod from John Gibbons despite his 1-for-21 history against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.
The move didn't cool him off a bit. Encarnacion connected for a solo homer in the second inning and then a two-run shot in the third to lead Toronto to a 6-4 victory. Encarnacion also homered twice in Toronto's win on Tuesday, giving him seven homers over his last six games. He has 11 total in May, which is six shy of the month's record set by Barry Bonds in 2001. He has 10 games to make his run at Bonds mark.
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