OAK@TB: Callaspo snares inning-ending line drive

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alberto Callaspo's ongoing struggles at the plate were magnified in Thursday's 5-2 loss against the Rays.

The veteran infielder, rarely frozen on strikes, was caught looking twice in the series finale, and he also made the final out of the ninth inning with a shallow fly ball to left field that stranded three baserunners and paved the way for extra innings.

"He was our hottest hitter for a while and has slowed down some," said manager Bob Melvin. "He wasn't going to keep the pace he was at, but usually he squares up some balls and has some better at-bats. He's just struggling right now."

Making the start at third base on Thursday while Josh Donaldson acted as designated hitter, Callaspo drew a walk in his first plate appearance but finished 0-for-3, extending his hitless streak to 12 at-bats.

Callaspo is just 6-for-42 (.143) in May, after batting .269 in April. He has grounded into a double play in two of the last four games and has hit into 10 on the season, which is tied for the Major League lead.

Crisp, Lowrie return to A's lineup for finale

OAK@TB: Crisp doubles in a pair to open the scoring

ST. PETERSBURG -- After missing time with neck soreness, Jed Lowrie and Coco Crisp were back in the A's lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Rays.

Neither is 100 percent, but not necessarily limited. Both have more difficulty hitting left-handed than right-handed, though they were expected to do so against Rays right-hander Alex Cobb.

"They both hit in the cage today," said manager Bob Melvin, "and said they felt good to go."

Cobb has had trouble getting both hitters out in his career, with Crisp entering the day 8-for-15 with two homers off him and Lowrie 4-for-7.

Elsewhere in the lineup, Josh Donaldson got the start at designated hitter, while Alberto Callaspo started at third base, as part of manager Bob Melvin's effort to keep each of his regulars off the artificial turf at least a day during this swing through St. Petersburg and Toronto.

Worth noting

• As part of the A's partnership with Vision to Learn, a non-profit organization that provides free eye exams and glasses to children in low-income communities, infielder Eric Sogard will distribute glasses to more than 50 children on Tuesday at Franklin Elementary School in Oakland.