Johnson can't escape home struggles vs. Tigers

Johnson can't escape home struggles vs. Tigers

OAKLAND -- Jim Johnson's struggles at the Coliseum continued in Thursday's 5-4 loss to Detroit, and so did the boos.

The home crowd has showered the right-hander with them in nearly every one of his outings, doing so again when Johnson allowed two runs in an inning of work against the Tigers with the A's already down.

"It's tough," said teammate Jed Lowrie. "You're talking about people who are paying to watch a game, but you would hope that people would be supportive when guys are going through a rough time. As a professional, you kind of just have to take the good with the bad."

Johnson has given up 13 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings for a 14.04 ERA at home, compared to just three runs allowed in 13 2/3 innings away from the Coliseum (1.98 ERA).

"He's having a more difficult time here at home," said manager Bob Melvin. "He's just not getting the same results here as he is on the road.

"He's going to pitch in some games when we're down, and today we were down. Guys have to respond to the opportunities they get. We'll continue to try to find a good spot for him and get him going."

Johnson, who compiled a Major League-best 101 saves in his previous two years in Baltimore, lost the closer's job just 11 days into the season following a string of ugly outings, and his role has since been undefined.

When asked about hearing boos from his new fan base, Johnson said, "What am I supposed to do?

"I don't know what to tell you," Johnson continued. "The balls are finding holes. I'm throwing pretty good pitches. Just feel like it's a little bit of bad luck. I don't think it's as bad as it really seems, but I think everyone else thinks that way."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.