OAKLAND — The A’s do enough good things in many games to convince you a victory might be waiting at the end of the rainbow.
That was the case Tuesday night, when they hit three homers in the same inning and erased three different deficits against the Los Angeles Angels. It was all for naught in another marathon game between these teams.
Ben Revere’s RBI single in the top of the 10th sank Oakland in an 8-7 loss, the A's eighth in a row that marks their longest losing streak since a nine-game skid early in the 2012 season.
With the September roster expansion, A’s manager Bob Melvin and Angels manager Mike Scioscia have burned through relievers with abandon in the first two games of this series. The A’s used seven pitchers. A day after Scioscia set an American League record by using 12, he settled on eight pitchers Tuesday night.
The A’s trailed 4-1 in the fifth, when Matt Joyce, Khris Davis (two-run shot) and Matt Olson all homered to put the A’s ahead 5-4. It was a back-and-forth game from there, and the A’s hurt themselves by going 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The end result was an Angels victory that moved them into the American League’s second Wild Card spot by a half-game ahead of Minnesota.
LAST-INNING DRAMA: The A’s tried for a fourth comeback rally in the 10th off Eduardo Parades. They loaded the bases with two outs and Jed Lowrie worked the count to 3-2 before flying out to center.
ROOKIE ON A ROLL: Olson went deep as part of the A’s four-run fifth, continuing a torrid stretch that’s seen him homer seven times in his past eight games. He put a charge into a 2-0 fastball from Blake Wood, sending it over the center field wall for his 15th homer of the season. His 15 homers are second most by a player in franchise history over his first 53 games, trailing Mark McGwire’s 18.
GRAVEMAN’S NIGHT: Kendall Graveman gave up four runs over five innings, which qualifies as a decent start in the context of how short the outings have been by A’s starters recently. He walks three in the third, when the Angels struck for three runs to go up 3-0. Albert Pujols’ run-scoring single made it a 4-1 game in the fifth.
MENGDEN GETS THE CALL: Among four call-ups to the A’s roster Tuesday was right-hander Daniel Mengden, who has endured an injury-marred season that began with a broken foot before spring training and included a two-month stay on the D.L. with a strained oblique. Mengden is healthy now and will start the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Houston, taking the rotation spot of Chris Smith, who has struggled mightily. Third baseman/outfielder Renato Nunez also was recalled from Triple-A Nashville, as expected, along with second baseman Joey Wendle and right-hander Raul Alcantara. Alcantara is pitching in relief now, providing needed depth for an overworked A’s bullpen.
HONOR FOR HENDRIKS: It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Liam Hendriks on the mound this season. But the reliever was named Tuesday afternoon as the A’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente award, which recognizes a player’s community involvement, philanthropy and positive impact. One cause near to Hendriks’ heart and that of his wife, Kristi, is Striking Out Poverty, a charity aimed at ending poverty in the Dominican Republic. Hendriks played winter ball there in 2014 and came away wanting to make a difference.
“You go through a couple areas where it’s just poverty-stricken and it breaks your heart,” Hendriks said. “You go through these places where you’re told, ‘Don’t drink the water.’ We can afford to buy bottled water. Some of these people can’t.”
Hendriks also is heavily involved with Players for Pits, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and other organizations aimed at rescuing animals.