The A’s played a game of role reversal that they could have done without.
After roaring back from a 5-0 deficit in Monday’s series opener at Safeco Field, Oakland let the Seattle Mariners escape a five-run hole and author their own comeback victory, 6-5, on Tuesday night.
A three-run fifth off A’s starter Jesse Chavez put the Mariners up for good, as they evened this three-game series at one game apiece. It was a discouraging turn of events for Chavez after the excellent eight-inning outing he turned in against the Dodgers his last time out.
After building their early lead over the first two innings, the A’s went silent offensively. Three runners standed at third didn’t help their cause. Then in the ninth off Tom Wilhelmsen, Sam Fuld doubled with two outs as the tying run came up, but Josh Reddick flied out to right to end it.
Starting pitching report
Chavez (7-13) found the going much rougher Tuesday than in his previous start. He had a 5-0 lead after two innings but by the time he left in the fifth, that cushion had turned into a 6-5 deficit. Two home runs in the fourth – a solo shot from Nelson Cruz and a two-run laser from Logan Morrison that clanged off the right field foul pole – narrowed the A’s lead to 5-3. Then a three-run rally in the fifth chased him, all scoring with two outs. Manager Bob Melvin gave his starter a chance to close out the inning with a 5-4 lead and be eligible for the victory, but Austin Jackson’s bases-loaded single up the middle scored two to put Seattle ahead 6-5.
Fernando Abad and Fernando Rodriguez combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Chavez.
At the plate
The good times rolled again early on, as the A’s continued to bunch hits together in a four-run second that extended their lead to 5-0. Back-to-back doubles from Billy Butler and Josh Reddick got things started, then Mike Montgomery piped a fastball to Marcus Semien that Semien crushed for a two-run homer. Danny Valencia’s sacrifice fly eventually made it 5-0. But that was it. Over the final seven innings, the A’s mustered just five hits and stranded three runners at third base.
Billy Burns was a catalyst from the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 with two runs.
In the field
An infield single from Robinson Cano proved pivotal in the Mariners’ go-ahead rally in the fifth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Cano hit a comebacker that deflected off Chavez’s glove. Second baseman Brett Lawrie had a chance to still make the play at first but he couldn’t make a clean bare-hand grab on the ball, and a run scored to cut the A’s lead to 5-4.
Felix Hernandez (14-8, 3.74) will attempt to join Dallas Keuchel as the only 15-game winners in the AL to this point. Chris Bassitt (1-5, 2.48) goes for the A’s in a 12:40 pm game.