SEATTLE –- Chris Coghlan knows his name won’t always be in the starting lineup, but he’s taking advantage of his opportunities.
The utility man drove in two runs Friday night, including a go-ahead home run in the ninth that lifted the A’s to a 3-2 victory over the Mariners to spoil Seattle’s home opener. He also drove in Oakland’s first run with a single in the fourth.
With Josh Reddick relegated to designated hitter because of back soreness, Coghlan drew the start in right field, a day after he made his first start at second base and delivered two hits. The A’s are hardly knocking the cover off the ball as a team, so the timely hitting from their jack-of-all-trades player was heartily welcomed.
Ryan Madson nailed down the save in the ninth as the A's improved their record to 2-3. Four of their first five games have been decided by one run (they’re 2-2 in those games).
The A’s commanded a 2-0 lead on Josh Reddick’s homer in the fifth, but they didn’t get another hit until Coughlan went deep on a 1-2 pitch from Steve Cishek.
Starting pitching report
Eric Surkamp, making his first start in the bigs since 2013, made it through four innings without incident but couldn’t escape the fifth. Staked to a 2-0 lead, he gave up Dae-Ho Lee’s homer to center – the first Major League hit for the Korean slugger – then two singles and a sacrifice fly from Ketel Marte tied it. Had Jed Lowrie not committed his second error, putting runners on the corners with one out, the lefty might have stayed in longer. But A’s manager Bob Melvin went to his bullpen with the tying run 90 feet away, and Fernando Rodriguez coaxed an inning-ending double play.
Just once in five games has an Oakland starter completed as many as six innings. But defensive breakdowns have played a part in a couple of those games.
Rodriguez came up big by inducing the 6-4-3 double play to end the fifth, and he turned in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Madson has now notched two saves, and at the very least he’s commanded a share of the closer’s position. His first save came on a night when Melvin said Doolittle wasn’t available. Doolittle touched 95 in dispatching the middle of the Mariners’ order in the eighth, then Madson showed was dominant in the ninth with two strikeouts
At the plate
Reddick’s homer was his first of the season, a shot to right off Seattle starter Taijuan Walker. The A’s collected nine hits but still left runners in scoring position o na couple of occasions.
In the field
Lowrie misplayed routine grounders for both his errors, and the second one in the fifth could have been an inning-ending double play. Neither of those cost the A’s runs, but Oakland has committed six errors through five games, not a positive development for a team that led the majors in errors in 2015.
A sellout crowd of 47,065 showed up for Seattle’s home opener, the largest regular-season crowd in Safeco Field history.
Rich Hill (0-1, 6.75) takes the mound for his second start with the A’s in Saturday’s 6:10 p.m. game. He’ll oppose right-hander Nathan Karns (7-5, 3.67 last season), a newcomer to the Mariners’ rotation this year.