OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers hit the skids just when they were hoping to press on the accelerator.
The Dodgers lost 5-2 to the Oakland Athletics Wednesday afternoon, a two-game sweep at the hands of a last-place team that had lost seven in a row.
How it happened: The Dodgers' offense withered in this series. They managed just one hit in six innings Tuesday night off Felix Doubront, a pitcher with shaky command. They managed just two hits in eight innings off Wednesday starter Jesse Chavez. One of the hits was a Jimmy Rollins two-run homer in the third inning.
Alex Wood pitched well for a time, but Oakland had better at-bats the third time through the lineup, a familiar issue for Wood. Billy Burns' RBI double to left-center was the pivotal hit in Oakland's two-run sixth inning. The Dodgers didn't give Wood much of a chance to pitch his way out of a jam. Despite a modest pitch count of 82, manager Don Mattingly lifted him after he walked Josh Phegley in the sixth. Wood wound up allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out only one batter.
Oakland loaded the bases with nobody out against struggling reliever Jim Johnson and added two key extra runs in the eighth.
What it means: The Dodgers came to Oakland to face a team that had arrived in the middle of the night Tuesday, but the Dodgers were the ones who looked like they were playing out the string in these two games. Their lead is 1½ games going into the San Francisco Giants' night game in St. Louis.
Notable: Rollins went hitless in his first four games after the All-Star break. Since then, he is batting .298 with an .836 OPS. He also has played his best shortstop of the season in recent weeks. … The entire Dodgers bullpen met before the game along the right-field line. Coaches Chuck Crim and Rick Honeycutt were there. The Dodgers' bullpen was strong in April and May, but has a 6.18 ERA since the start of July. … Chavez, a pitcher Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi has tried to trade for, retired 15 out of the next 16 batters after Rollins' home run. ... The Dodgers came up with some nice delay tactics to give Luis Avilan time to warm up in the eighth. Enrique Hernandez came to the mound to get a little rosin and Avilan “accidentally” threw one past the catcher in the bullpen. Adrian Gonzalez called timeout and Andre Ethier slowly retrieved the ball from the warning track and lobbed it into the crowd. By then, Avilan was ready.
Up next: The Dodgers are off Thursday; they begin a three-game series Friday night in Houston.