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Rays offence struggles in 3-0 loss to Athletics

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Jake Odorizzi and the bullpen of the Tampa Bay Rays didn't make many mistakes Tuesday night.

But given the Rays' offensive struggles, they didn't have room for any.

The Rays were shut out for the second time in three games, losing 3-0 to the Oakland Athletics.

"The one pitch you'd like to have back is (Odorizzi's) curveball to (Coco) Crisp that provided two of their runs," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Because otherwise we pitched as well as they did."

Drew Pomeranz won his third consecutive start since moving from the bullpen into the rotation, Crisp drove in two runs before departing with an injury, and the surging Athletics won for the 10th time in 11 games.

Odorizzi gave up three runs, four hits, five walks and struck out eight while throwing 113 pitches in 4 2-3 innings.

"It was just prolonging at-bats that really got me tonight, but they're a hot team right now and that's what a hot team does," Odorizzi said.

"They foul stuff off, they see it really well, they laid off a lot of close pitches tonight and credit to them. They did a good job of working counts."

Pomeranz (4-1) allowed three hits, two walks and had three strikeouts over five innings. He has not given up a run in his three starts, all of which lasted five innings.

Crisp hit a two-run double and John Jaso had an RBI single off Odorizzi (2-4) as Oakland took a 3-0 lead in the second. Crisp was replaced defensively by Craig Gentry in the bottom of the sixth because of neck soreness. He had started four straight games after missing seven with a neck strain.

Sean Doolittle, the third Oakland reliever, pitched the ninth for his third save and complete a four-hitter.

The Rays (19-27) are eight games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2007 season (66-96), which was their final season as the Devil Rays. They have been shut out five times.

"When you give up three points, you'd like to believe you have a pretty good chance of winning those games," Maddon said. "We just have to get our offence untracked, and we will."

Pomeranz worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third by getting a double play grounder from Desmond Jennings on a 3-2 pitch. Jennings also hit into an inning-ending double play with two on in the eighth.

Maddon challenged the very close out call on Jennings at first base in the third, which the umpires ruled would stand after a review that took 1 minute, 23 seconds.

The Athletics wasted several scoring chances by failing to get any runs after loading the bases with no outs in sixth, and also having two on and one out in both the first and fourth. The left 11 runners on base.

NOTES: Rays RHP Alex Cobb (strained left oblique) will rejoin the rotation Thursday, Maddon said. ... RHP Chris Archer will pitch Friday's first game of a weekend series against Boston, and LHP David Price will pitch for the Rays on Saturday. ... The Rays have lost eight of their past nine home games. .... Oakland SS Jed Lowrie, who left Sunday's game at Cleveland in the second because of a strained neck, was out of the starting lineup. ... Tampa Bay C Ryan Hanigan (sore right hamstring) was a defensive replacement in the ninth. ... Oakland C Derek Norris walked three times, including one on a 14-pitch at-bat in the fourth. ... Oakland LHP Tommy Milone (1-3) and Tampa Bay LHP Erik Bedard (2-1) are Wednesday night's scheduled starters.

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