Oakland A’s Friday post game wrap: Coghlan’s Homer, Bullpen Propel A’s to 3-2 Win In Seattle

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

AP photo: Oakland A’s Chris Coghlan heads home after belting a ninth inning homer that gave the A’s a one run win off Seattle Mariners pitcher Steve Cishek

The blueprints general manager David Forst laid out for the Oakland Athletics were in full display for Friday’s 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field Friday night.

The revamped Oakland bullpen pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings and super-sub Chris Coghlan hit his first home run as an Athletic to give Sean Doolittle (1-1, 3.38 ERA) his first win since the south paw tallied his lone 2015 victory on September 17th. Closer Ryan Madson, another free agent signing for the Green and Gold, picked up his 2nd save of the season  for the A’s (2-3) after recording a 1-2-3 inning including a pair of punchouts.

Coghlan, getting a spot start in right field after Josh Reddick was moved to DH to nurse back stiffness, knocked in the first run of the game off Mariners starter Taijuan Walker in the 4th inning after a sharp liner deflected on first baseman Dae-Ho Lee’s glove and into the outfield.

Josh Reddick would add to the A’s lead with a two-out solo home run, his first of the year, in the fifth inning, golfing a 77 mile per hour pitch into the stands in right field.

The Mariners (2-2) answered back with their American-league leading 9th homer of the season after Lee took A’s starter Eric Surkamp’s offering over the wall in straight-away centerfield in the bottom half of the inning. It was Lee’s first homer in the United States after playing the beginning of his career in the Koreon Baseball Organization and more recently the Nippon Professional Baseball league.

Surkamp was called up before the game, taking the place of outfielder Andrew Lambo on the active roster. The A’s made the decision on what to do with their rotation with members battling the flu and expected 5th starter Felix Doubront nursing an injury, sending the journeyman Surkamp to the hill. He’d pitch well, but would surrender another run on a Ketel Marte sacrifice fly in the fifth and depart the game with a no-decision after 4 1/3 innings with runners on 1st and 3rd base.

Fernando Rodriguez induced a double-play ball out of Nelson Cruz to escape the inning tied, then throw another hitless inning. December signee John Axford also pitched a perfect  7th inning, then Doolittle worked around a leadoff walk, retiring the next three Seattle hitters in order to give Oakland a chance to take the lead in the 9th.

That’s where Coghlan took over. The slugger, who hit 16 homers last year, hammered Mariners offseason acquisition Steve Chisek’s 92 mile-per-hour fastball at the knees, depositing it deep into the bleachers in right field for a one-out solo shot. Madson would shut the door to give the Chisek (0-1, 4.50) the loss and give the A’s their second win of the season.

Game two of the three-game set will feature two new faces to the American League West, with Mariners offseason acquisition Nate Karns making his Seattle debut while Opening Day starter Rich Hill takes the bump for Oakland after giving up four runs total in 2 2/3 innings against the White Sox. A’s nemesis Felix Hernandez will face Chris Bassitt in the finale Sunday.


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