It was a late night around the big leagues. Rain on the east coast delayed a few games and helped a Red Sox game finish close to 2AM for the second time in two weeks. The Rangers piled on 20 runs against the Twins although outfield Michael Cuddyer threw a scoreless inning. The Rays, playing their first game on this current west coast trip, also played deep into the night, but the result wasn’t good as the bullpen failed to come through in a 7-5 loss to the A’s.
The Rays jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead. They showed impressive extra base power against A’s starter Guillermo Moscoso. Ben Zobrist homered in the first. Kelly Shoppach homered in the sixth. In between, Desmond Jennings and Johnny Damon added doubles and B.J. Upton hit his first triple of the year with the help of the cavernous Coliseum.
Jeremy Hellickson was effective, but certainly not as his best. He deliberately worked through five innings with an uncharacteristically high four walks. He also allowed three runs.
Lately, the bullpen has been very leaky and it was no exception last night. J.P. Howell allowed three runs in the seventh to put his season ERA over 9.00. He’s far from alone. Although, Joel Peralta did not give up any earned runs, he eventually gave up the game winning hit when Conor Jackson doubled deep to left to give the A’s a 6-5 lead.
Former Ray Grant Balfour (don’t we wish that he was re-signed now?) and the rest of the A’s bullpen shut out the Rays the rest of the game. It was another tough loss for the Rays and you have to wonder whether we will ever see the J.P. Howell of old.