OAKLAND — Josh Lindblom sat silently in front of his locker in the cramped Dodgers’ clubhouse with his shoulders slumped and his head down.
The reliever had just surrendered a three-run, walk-off home run to the Athletics’ Yoenis Cespedes, giving Oakland a 4-1 win and a sweep of the three-game interleague series at the Oakland Coliseum.
But it was the Dodgers’ batters who slumped badly again Thursday afternoon as the team suffered its fifth loss in seven games. Key lapses on bunt plays in the ninth inning also hurt.
“We didn’t do enough to win any of these games,” Manager Don Mattingly said of the Oakland trip. “We didn’t put them in danger at any point in the series.”
The Dodgers on Thursday faced Oakland left-hander Travis Blackley, who pitched in Korea last year and was claimed off waivers a month ago.
Blackley had no trouble dueling Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, with each giving up one run and three hits in eight innings.
After Ryan Cook took over for Blackley in the ninth inning, Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor drew a leadoff walk. Dee Gordon, looking to sacrifice Treanor to second base, fouled off two bunt attempts and then bunted in fair ground to third baseman Brandon Inge.
The bunt was hard enough that Inge was able to force Treanor out at second base. Then Gordon was caught trying to steal second base by catcher Derek Norris, who was making his big league debut, and Elian Herrera struck out.
Mattingly said the bunt was taken off after Gordon had two strikes on him. “I don’t know if he didn’t see it or ... I’ll talk to him later,” Mattingly said.
Told that the bunt sign had been waved off, Gordon said, “I actually didn’t know that. But I put down a good bunt and they made a good play.”
After Lindblom took over for Kershaw in the bottom of the ninth, Coco Crisp walked and reached second base on a wild pitch.
Lindblom then fielded Jemile Weeks’ bunt and the right-hander turned to throw to third base to get Crisp. But there was no one there — third baseman Juan Uribe also had charged in to field the bunt — and both runners were safe.
“You’ve got Coco Crisp at second base, you’re not getting the guy at third base,” Mattingly said. “Honestly, that’s disappointing because that’s what we preach, we preach, we preach — get an out, get an out.”
Lindblom agreed. “In that situation you’ve just got to get an out,” he said. “I’ve got to be smarter than that.”
Cespedes followed with his home run to left.
Herrera doubled in the fourth inning for the Dodgers’ first hit and later scored on Juan Rivera’s single.
Otherwise, the Dodgers’ batters went quietly. “You’ve got to give those guys some credit,” Kershaw said of the Oakland staff, which gave up two runs and eight hits in the series. “They pitched us really well in this series.”