Struggling on road, A's welcome day off

Struggling on road, A's welcome day off

BOSTON -- The A's bolted out of Boston on Wednesday night, a nightmarish series with the hot-hitting Red Sox mercifully behind them.

Only a middle-of-the-night flight to Florida stood in the way of a desperately needed off-day, and even the prospect of that likely proved more soothing than the preceding hours of chaotic action.

The A's were pummeled by the Red Sox yet again, dropping a 13-3 contest that followed loss margins of 14-7 and 13-5, respectively, in the first two games of a forgettable three-game series that left them seven games below .500, at 14-21.

The 40 runs allowed in the three-game set is an Oakland record.

"It's certainly embarrassing," outfielder Josh Reddick said.

It gets worse: Going back to Sunday's 11-3 loss in Baltimore, the A's have yielded 51 runs on 60 hits in their last four games, marking the first time in franchise history they've allowed 11 or more runs in four consecutive contests.

Since 1929, they're one of only four teams to do so, joining the 1951 Pirates, the '86 Brewers and the 2007 Astros.

Now, about that off-day.

"The way it's going now, any off-day is welcomed to try and get the bullpen rested," said manager Bob Melvin, whose club has dropped five in a row and 14 of its last 18.

Not one Oakland starter finished the fourth inning in this series, forcing A's relievers to cover 15 innings in three games. They've totaled 125 1/3 innings overall, most in the American League.

Left-hander Eric Surkamp, recalled from Triple-A Nashville for Wednesday's start, only went so far as Sean Manaea did the night before: 2 2/3 innings, with four runs on as many hits and two walks allowed.

A's starters totaled only nine innings against the Red Sox, surrendering 19 earned runs and 22 hits. On the season, they have an American League-worst 5.47 ERA.

"It's something you don't expect," Reddick said. "Something we've always taken pride in ourselves is pitching, and to see everybody struggle like they have, usually one out of five is going to pick you up, and just can't find that right now. Hopefully this day off will be something we need to get back into the groove and help us forget about the last five."

"Tough series for us," Melvin said. "That team is playing hot, swinging the bats well, doing everything right. We're playing out of position, bullpen's in disarray. As bad as it feels right now, it can only go up."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.