One-Hitter Quitter

“That’s all we got, one goddamn hit?”

It’s been over 20 years since the Oakland A’s were the victim of a no-hitter. On July 13, 1991, Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson, and Gregg Olson of the Baltimore Orioles combined to keep the A’s out of the hit column at the Coliseum. Yesterday, Ryan Vogelsong came within a soft single of no-hitting the A’s and making an even worse nightmare of their 4-0 loss to the Giants.

Vogelsong retired the first 13 batters he faced before allowing a single by Seth Smith with one out in the fifth. A’s starter Tyson Ross certainly wasn’t as spectacular as Vogelsong, allowing two runs on seven hits and four walks in his six-plus innings of work, but when he was replaced by Grant Balfour in the seventh the game was still scoreless and the A’s still had a shot.

Emmanuel Burriss led off the inning with an infield single between third and shortstop. Giants manager Bruce Bochy then pulled back pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff from the on-deck circle and called for Vogelsong to lay down a bunt.

Ross came in high and tight on the first pitch of the at-bat, and home plate umpire James Hoye ruled Vogelsong was hit by the pitch. The A’s argued that the ball hit Vogelsong’s bat.

Balfour then replaced Ross and walked Gregor Blanco to load the bases before striking out Brandon Crawford for the first out of the inning. Melky Cabrera then brought the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly. Buster Posey followed with a ground-rule double to bring in another run, and a single by Angel Pagan made it 4-0.

Bob Melvin earned his second ejection in three games after arguing with Hoyle as he walked to the mound to take out Balfour.

Ross was a bit shaky in his outing, but he managed to strand 10 runners in his six innings. He needed 31 pitches in the first inning to escape a bases loaded one-out jam, and he induced inning-ending double plays in the fifth and sixth.

Daric Barton was the only other A’s player to reach base, drawing a walk (of course) to leadoff the sixth. Vogelsong struck out five in his seven innings of work.

The A’s have now lost 11 straight at AT&T Park, and are in danger of matching their longest losing streak in one stadium since dropping 12 in a row at Milwaukee from 1992-95.

For us A’s fans, losing to the Giants is already bad enough, and if a no-hitter were to happen we’d never hear the end of it, much like how we never let them hear the end of the sweep in the ’89 World Series. I’d give anything to avoid a sweep today, because I really don’t feel like putting up with crap from Giants fans before the re-match series in Oakland next month.

NOTES: Brandon McCarthy was placed on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder. An MRI last week showed no damage to McCarthy’s right scapula. Last season, McCarthy missed seven weeks with a stress reaction in his scapula. Right-hander Jim Miller was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday to fill the roster spot. … Manny Ramirez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts for the River Cats on Saturday night. He’s eligible to join the A’s May 30.

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