Rays put to rest by Kendall Graveman, A's in third game of series
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays' bullpen experienced a rare failure Saturday in a 5-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
"I just didn't make the pitches, and they took advantage," said reliever Xavier Cedeno, who gave up his first two runs as a Ray in the decisive sixth inning.
Kendall Graveman gave up three hits over six innings in his return from the minors and Sam Fuld drove in two runs for the Athletics, who broke a four-game losing streak.
The loss ended the Rays' five-game win streak at home.
"It was a 5-0 score, but we were one pitch away from being in one of our typical, tight ballgames going into the fifth and sixth inning," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
After wasting several good scoring chances, Oakland broke through for four runs in the sixth. Cedeno, who had 12 straight scoreless appearances since joining the Rays, replaced starter Nathan Karns (3-2) with two outs and gave up Eric Sogard's RBI single.
Mark Canha walked to load the bases, then three runs scored on Fuld's single that also included two Tampa Bay errors.
"It's the first one (that hurts)," Cedeno said. "I'm trying to get the first guy out and I just couldn't execute my pitches. That's the ball game. It happens sometimes."
Graveman (2-2), recalled from Triple-A Nashville to make the start, struck out six and walked two to help the A's win for just the third time in 17 games. The right-hander was on the opening-day roster and went 1-2 with an 8.27 ERA in four starts before being optioned to Nashville on April 26.
"I think (Graveman) felt really comfortable and we didn't get him off his game," second baseman Nick Franklin said.
"You credit their guy. He was mixing in his sinker/cutter combination and we had a tough time with it tonight," Cash said. "He just kept us off-balance enough."
Fuld was credited with two RBIs on his hit that was misplayed by center fielder Kevin Kiermaier for the first error. Catcher Rene Rivera got the second error after dropping Kiermaier's throw that allowed the third run to score.
The Rays had committed only 15 errors in their first 43 games.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Tyler Clippard ended the threat by striking out pinch-hitter Joey Butler on three pitches.
Karns allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Billy Burns got his first career RBI in the eighth after drawing the fourth consecutive walk issued by Enny Romero with two outs.
The Rays optioned Romero to Triple-A Durham immediately after the game.
Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin said INF Brett Lawrie "is a little banged up" and might be out of the lineup a couple days. ... OF Coco Crisp (cervical strain) went on the 15-day DL ... Closer Sean Doolittle (shoulder) will pitch for Triple-A Nashville on Sunday and might be back later in the week. ... INF-OF Ben Zobrist (knee) could return Monday. ... 1B Ike Davis (quadriceps) hasn't resumed baseball activities.
Rays: LHP Matt Moore (elbow surgery) threw 36 pitches in two innings during his first extended spring training start.
Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (4-2) faces Rays RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-1) Sunday. Gray has lost two straight starts.
Rays 3B Evan Longoria was the designated hitter for the third time this season, getting a break from playing on artificial turf at Tropicana Field. Manager Kevin Cash said getting Longoria to DH is "like pulling teeth."
"We play cribbage for it," Cash said with a smile. "Obviously he hasn't DH-ed much this year so I'm getting beat up on cribbage."