Oakland Athletics Continue To Struggle

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Jun 5, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland Athletics were swept again, this time by the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The final score was 5-2. Let’s take a closer look.

Final. 5. 135. 2. 96

The Oakland Athletics cannot seem to catch a break on the road as they were swept by the Houston Astros in downtown Houston. Sonny Gray came back from the disabled list today and performed well, pitching in five innings and striking out five and only giving up one run.

But the Athletics bullpen gave out, giving up two runs that proved the difference in this ballgame. Ryan Dull is saddled with the loss while Lance McCullers pitched seven innings for the Astros and got the win. Will Harris was able to get the save this afternoon, as the Astros turned away from their regular closer Luke Gregerson who could not save the game last night.

Sonny Gray benefited from a first inning in which the Oakland Athletics loaded the bases. Soon after, Stephen Vogt and Danny Valencia scored on a Yonder Alonso two-run single with two outs. Alonso has had a hit in every game in this series including three last night and two tonight. Gray held the lead but did give up a run in the fifth inning. He was pulled after a conservative 69 pitches.

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The A’s bullpen did falter, with Daniel Coulombe, Ryan Dull, and Marc Rzepczynski each giving up at least a run. Rzepczynski allowed two in the eighth inning, one on an error that he committed as he stumbled off of the mound trying to make a play.

Jesse Hahn was pitching in the bullpen for the A’s in the eighth inning, perhaps as penance for his terrible game on Friday night in which he pitched merely two-thirds innings as a starter. This A’s bullpen has pitched more innings this weekend series than the A’s starters have, pitching in seventeen innings this weekend. Bob Melvin has used fifteen bullpen arms this series (including Tyler Ladendorf‘s).

The Oakland Athletics are 12-16 on the road with the loss, and within the AL West are 9-12. However, against the Astros they are 2-4. With this sweep, Oakland remains in sole possession in the cellar of the AL West division.

At the very least, the Athletics will benefit from two days off this week, bookending a short trip to Milwaukee on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hopefully, the Oakland Athletics can turn things around against two underperforming National League Central teams as they face the Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds this weekend.

Next: Oakland Athletics Can't Catch A Break!

The A’s travel to face the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. Sean Manaea (2-3, 6.16 ERA) faces Zach Davies (3-3, 4.53) in Miller Park. First pitch on Tuesday is at 5:10 PM PST.

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