A's swept away in the desert 

click to enlarge Oakland Athletics outfielder Seth Smith (15) is congratulated by teammate Josh Reddick after a homerun. - MARK J. REBILAS/US PRESSWIRE
  • Mark J. Rebilas/US PRESSWIRE
  • Oakland Athletics outfielder Seth Smith (15) is congratulated by teammate Josh Reddick after a homerun.

Second, fourth, fifth. Wherever Jason Kubel hit in the Diamondbacks’ lineup in a weekend sweep of the A’s, he hit.

Kubel had a single and two RBIs from the No. 5 spot Sunday, when the D’backs beat the A’s 4-3 to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games.

Kubel was 6-for-13 with seven RBIs in the three-game series sweep. He had a home run, a double and three RBIs while hitting second Friday and had three singles and two RBIs hitting in the cleanup spot Saturday.

“That’s fine. No matter where I’m at, they are going to pitch me the same, even if I’m leading off. It doesn’t matter,” Kubel said. “Don’t try to overdo it. You keep it simple, and it seems to work out better that way.”

Joe Saunders improved to 13-4 in 19 career starts against the A’s, most coming when he was in the AL West with the Los Angeles Angels. Saunders gave up seven hits and two runs, one earned, in six innings.

The A’s (26-35) lost their third straight and dropped nine games under .500 for the first time this season. They are 4-14 since winning the first game of a series against the Los Angeles Angels on May 21 and have lost five of their last six series.

“Not a good series. A bad series. Anytime you get swept it is a bad series,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Oakland leadoff man Jemile Weeks and Josh Donaldson had two hits apiece, and Jonny Gomes and Brandon Inge had doubles in the A’s two-run fourth inning. Inge doubled in Gomes before Inge scored on Donaldson’s single to left, although D-backs catcher Henry Blanco was given an error on the play when the ball squirted out of his glove as he applied the tag to Inge.

Pinch-hitter Seth Smith singled in Collin Cowgill in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 4-3.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win but just kind of fell short. It is frustrating, but it is also nothing to get alarmed about. Just keep plugging away,” Smith said.

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