Jed Lowrie collected one of the most difficult walks of his career in the ninth inning Monday.
Squared off with the Rangers’ Joe Nathan with a man on second, Lowrie went to 1-2 quickly, then had to fight his way back to get a walk off Nathan, who had only walked eight men all year.
Manager Bob Melvin called it “a fighting at-bat right there.’’
Lowrie, who became the potential tying run by reaching base, was proud of the walk although he would wind up at second base when Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre caught the final out of the Rangers’ 8-7 win.
“You know he’s not somebody who’s going to walk you,’’ Lowrie said. “If you’re going to get a walk, you’re going to have to foul off some pitches.’’
After the count got to 3-2, Lowrie fouled off a pair of nasty pitches before getting the walk that helped set up the one run the A’s would score in the inning.
Lowrie said that even in the loss he like the aggression his team showed in the ninth inning, making one of the game’s better closers (21 saves and a 1.91 ERA) sweat it out.
“We wound up putting the go-ahead run on base,’’ Lowrie said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win.
“Bob (manager Bob Melvin) continually tells us that we don’t back down. And we don’t.’’
–When Melvin said after Monday’s game that seven runs ought to be enough to win with the quality of the A’s pitching, he didn’t pull out any stats to back his claim.
The starts are there, nonetheless.
Monday was the first time the A’s had scored as many as seven runs this year and lost.
Before the 8-7 loss to the Rangers, Oakland was 15-0 when scoring seven or more and had lost just once when scoring six or more.
More than that, the A’s had a three-run lead after the top of the fourth, a six-run uprising putting Oakland in command at 6-3. It’s not the kind of game the A’s frequently lose.
The A’s have never lost this year with a lead of four runs or more and only four times with leads of three runs. Before Monday, the last time it had happened was May 4 when the built a 3-0 lead in Milwaukee and lost to the Brewers in extra innings 4-3.