Winning a Major League Baseball game with while getting only a single hit? Impossible. It isn’t if you are the 2014 Oakland Athletics, who are by far the hottest team in the game right now. Entering Wednesday’s game the A’s led the league in walks with 198. As of that same time, next closest team is the Minnesota Twins who trailed the A’s in that statistic by 20 walks. Boasting MLB’s best record at 30-16 and an insane run differential that hit triple digits yesterday (+100), the A’s managed to get the 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on one hit, a solo home run by Brandon Moss.
Of course they had help from the Rays. The A’s walked six times in the game. They used two of those walks, issued in the second inning by Ray’s starter Eric Bedard, to their advantage. The walks, coupled with a pair of throwing errors by Rays’ shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Sean Rodriguez, allowed the A’s to score two runs in that inning.
The Rays’ pitchers were good, holding the A’s to just one hit, a solo shot by Brandon Moss in the top of the fourth. That one hit ended up becoming the game winner. A’s starter Tommy Milone allowed only five hits and two earned runs in 5.2 innings of work. The Rays bested the Athletics easily in the runs column getting one off reliever Fernando Rodriguez, two off of righty twoLuke Gregerson and one off of newly named closer Sean Doolittle. Unfortunately for the Rays they were only able to turn of their nine hits into two runs that both came off of Milone in the fifth.
Sean Doolittle closed out the 3-2 game in the ninth earning his fourth save on the year. It was his first since being appointed the official A’s closer during manger Bob Melvin‘s press conference after Tuesday’s game.
Somehow the A’s keep finding ways to win. It was their fifth straight win and ninth in their last ten games. As Moss told reporters after the game on Wednesday,
“It’s not the easiest way to win a baseball game but it’s better than getting one hit and losing.”