Tonight, the A's scored plenty of runs. They just did not get the last out in time. Using a six-run second inning off Arizona starter Daniel Hudson, the A's were able to take a 6-0 lead and lead the Diamondbacks 8-6 going into the bottom of the ninth.
It was not enough as the Diamondbacks scored three times off Brian Fuentes in the bottom of the ninth to win 9-8. Tom Milone was not particularly sharp, but he was in line for the victory going five innings and allowing four runs on nine hits and two walks.
The offense came in a productive second inning when the A's batted around. After a leadoff Brandon Inge single, Kurt Suzuki hit an infield single to third base. Cliff Pennington then slapped a double to right, scoring Inge and moving Suzuki to third. Milone then helped his own cause with a two-run single to make the score 3-0.
After Jemile Weeks flied out, Coco Crisp doubled to left center to score Milone. Josh Reddick followed with a single to make the score 5-0. Seth Smith's single pulled Hudson and reliever Josh Collmenter promptly allowed Inge's single to plate Reddick and make it 6-0.
After Arizona responded with three in the bottom of the second, the A's saw the lead cut by another run as white-hot D-Backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt slammed a long home run off Milone to make it 6-4. But Smith hit a two-run home run off of former A's reliever Craig Breslow to make it 8-4. The A's would need those runs as Arizona scored twice in the bottom of the sixth.
In the ninth, Brian Fuentes recorded the first two outs before allowing a walk and a single. With the winning run at the plate, Fuentes allowed a walk-off home run to left center field by Ryan Roberts.
The A's offense. Eight runs and 16 hits should have been enough to win the game. Plenty of contributions and lots of clutch hits. That's a positive sign.
Is it time for Ryan Cook to close for the A's
Brandon Moss. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and three of those AB's were with runners in scoring position. Definitely needed something from him because it turned out the A's did not have enough runs.
Brian Fuentes. First Balfour, now Fuentes. The closer role is a black hole right now. Nothing but white-knuckle jobs in the ninth inning and this may have been the tipping point.
To get the first two outs, then walk someone allowing the tying run to come to the plate, that's inexcusable. A very deflating loss and the upgrades the A's were supposed to have from 2011 have simply not been such for their bullpen. Expect Ryan Cook to get the nod at closer sooner than later.
With the loss, the A's drop to 26-33. They will try to bounce back from this loss tomorrow night as Jarrod Parker, who was acquired from Arizona, will face the man he was traded for—A's starter Trevor Cahill.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.