The Oakland A’s are officially in a funk. Losers of four of their last five, and five in a row at home, they dropped the first two games of this four-game series against the Mariners heading into a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Tuesday night’s game was an 8-3 home loss for Oakland. The A’s pitchers were bounced around by the Mariners, while their struggles at the plate continued, going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Jesse Chavez looked rather shaky – perhaps due to fatigue as he’s a relatively inexperienced starter – allowing four runs on seven hits.
The A’s were in the game heading into the ninth, down 4-3. But Jim Johnson collapsed yet again, allowing four runs in the top of the ninth to turn a close game into a blowout. Johnson was booed off the mound, and it’s safe to say his A’s career could not have begun any worse.
Like last night, the Mariners pounced on the A’s early. They scored three times in the first inning, setting the tone for the night. After consecutive one out singles, Craig Gentry made a sensational leaping catch on a ball hit to right field by Corey Hart. But that didn’t stop the Mariners’ momentum, as the very next pitch by Chavez got through Derek Norris, allowing a run to score. RBI hits by Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley followed to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
Oakland scored twice in the second inning. A wild pitch put runners on second and third with two out, and Nick Punto came up with a clutch single up the middle to score them both.
The teams traded runs in the sixth. A Mike Zunino sac fly put the Mariners up two runs, but that was negated by a Yoenis Cespedes homer to left in the bottom half of the inning.
Mariners rookie starter Roenis Elias allowed three runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. The difference in the game was that Seattle’s bullpen shut down the A’s, while Oakland could not hold the score for its offense to make a comeback.
There will be a lot of baseball tomorrow afternoon and evening at the Coliseum, as these teams will play a doubleheader to make up for an earlier game this season that was rained out.