In very Oakland Athletics (25-67) fashion, the A's dropped their last game before the break losing 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox (48-43) allowing them to come from behind and sweep the visitors in the final series of the first half of the season.
The A's entered Sunday looking at the possibility of losing their third consecutive game against Boston and their fourth overall, and that's precisely what they ended up doing.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the A's also missed out on all top-5 chalky prospects in the first round of the MLB Draft, having to conform with the next-best guy by picking shortstop Jacob Wilson with the sixth-overall pick. Sheesh.
The game began with JP Sears taking the mound for the Athletics and Tyler Scott doing the same for the Red Sox. None of them will end up with the win nor the loss, though, as the game was tied at three by the time both left the field.
JP Sears had a very effectively wild type of outing. He went five deep throwing 89 rocks in a near-no-hitter that ended with the hurler allowing just one hit and one run (unearned) while walking three and striking out four batters. He also hit a couple of dudes with a pitch.
A combination of silly throws by Boston's players allowed Ryan Noda to advance from second to home and put the A's up on top 1-0. The Sox tied the affair half an inning later on a sac fly by Adam Duvall.
Chris Murphy replaced Boston's starter but that didn't help the Red Sox at all, as the lad forced a run in after walking Ryan Noda and welcoming Jace Peterson to cross home without having to break a sweat. Tyler Wade went to third, and Tony Kemp reached second base.
Things went low on action until the top of the fifth inning when, of course, the Sox decided to make another pitching change and the A's responded by scoring a run once again. It was All-Star Brent Rooker this time with an absolute mamooth of a homer off Josh Winckowski that could have left Fenway had the ball not hit a lightpole on its flight.
That bomb built a two-run lead in favor of the visitors. The problem with that was, of course, that the visitors on Sunday were the A's, not the Red Sox. That, in turn, meant that things were far from guaranteed to end with the host losing the matchup.
Paul Blackburn, who was scratched from Saturday's lineup and couldn't start because of an illness announced barely an hour after the game got going, entered Sunday's affair in the top of the sixth and allowed a home run to Adam Duvall just five pitches into his outing. Uh, oh.
A bunch of hitters later and still in the sixth, Blackburn finally surrendered the game-tying run by way of Christian Arroyo hitting a double that helped Masataka Yoshida to score the 3-3 run. Keep that latter name in mind.
Why, you ask? Well, because nothing happened until we reached the bottom of the eight and it was the very same Yoshida who homered for the 10th time this season and the first on Sunday putting Boston on top, 4-3, and earning the Red Sox a lead that they'll never surrender on the day.
Yoshida tagged Ken Waldichuk, Shintaro Fujinami entered the contest after that (and a single), and in the ninth, it was Jordan Diaz who flew out to Alex Verdugo on a pitch thrown by closer Kenley Jansen (save) to call it a day.
So, the A's enter the break on a four-game losing streak. They haven't won a game since they trounced the Tigers (12-3) on July 5. When regular-season baseball comes back on July 14, that'd make it a full month since the A's won more than two games in a row, having earned a dreadful 6-17 record from June 14 through Sunday.
The guys will be back playing ball inside the Cavernous Coliseum next Friday when they'll kick off a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins, and they will later extend the homestand with seven games split between hosting Boston (three) and Houston (four). See you then and there.