Down to their last out, the Seattle Mariners delivered a gut-wrenching defeat to the A’s on Tuesday night.
Leonys Martin hit a walk-off two-run homer off closer Ryan Madson in the bottom of the ninth to sink Oakland 6-5. That came after the A’s led 5-2 and transferred a one-run lead to Madson, who generally has been excellent this season but has blown his first two saves each in the past week.
It was the A’s first loss at Safeco Field in five games this year, and it seemed they were on their way to another win.
After being swept by the Yankees in four games, Oakland had rebounded by taking Monday’s series opener from first-place Seattle.
For the second consecutive night, the A’s built a lead with a four-run rally. Nine players went to the plate in the sixth as the A’s knocked out five hits and turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead. Robinson Cano’s two-run homer off John Axford in the eighth cut the deficit to 5-4.
Coco Crisp led the offensive attack with three RBI for the A’s, homering in the third and doubling home two runs in the A’s four-run sixth. Starter Kendall Graveman went just 4 1/3 innings, as Rich Hill’s eight-inning outing the night before left manager Bob Melvin a fresh bullpen with which to work Tuesday.
Starting pitching report:
Graveman’s night ended with one out in the fifth, as Melvin came with a quick hook with two on and the A’s trailing 2-1. He summoned Daniel Coulombe to face Cano and get the lefty-on-lefty matchup, and Coulombe got the job done, stranding both runners. It was the second time in three days that Melvin was aggressive going to his bullpen with one of his young starters on the mound. On Sunday, he pulled Jesse Hahn in the sixth with two on, and Axford gave up the tying and go-ahead runs.
Graveman went 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out three. Cano got to him for an RBI double in the first, driving a low-and-away pitch that wasn’t poorly located, and Nelson Cruz singled home a run with two outs in the third that put Seattle up 2-1.
Coulombe, called up Sunday when Sonny Gray went on the disabled list, came up big in bailing the A’s out of trouble in the fifth. He turned in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Axford had his second consecutive shaky outing as he gave up Cano’s two-run shot. Martin’s game-winner off Madson came on a 1-2 changeup.
At the plate:
Crisp’s two-run double highlighted the A’s sixth-inning rally, but Marcus Semien added a RBI double and Khris Davis chipped in with a sacrifice fly.
In the field:
Martin’s game-winner came right after left fielder Crisp came up just short on a diving attempt at Nori Aoki’s blooper down the left field line that went for a double.
The A’s cap off this brief three-game road trip by sending Zach Neal (0-0, 9.00) to the mound Wednesday in his first major league start. He’ll oppose Hisashi Iwakuma (2-4, 4.39) in a 7:10 p.m. game.