By Morris Phillips
Lately, the Coliseum has been the place for offense. And it was again on Sunday, it just this time the offense didn’t involve the swinging A’s.
The Mariners took their frustrations out on A’s pitching in an 11-1 rout with five extra-base hits, including two homers highlighted by Taylor Motter’s first career grand slam.
Motter’s slam capped the Mariners’ five-run third inning and represented the first taste of adversity for A’s starter Andrew Triggs, who had not allowed an earned run in any of his first three starts.
Triggs fell into trouble in the third by allowing singles to Mitch Haniger and Mike Zunino. He then walked Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz to force in a run. Motter followed with his slam on a 1-0 slider that grabbed too much of the plate and ended up beyond the left centerfield wall.
Triggs lasted just 4 2/3 innings and took his first loss of 2017, allowing six earned runs on five hits and the two, untimely third inning walks.
The loss snapped the A’s five-game win streak that catapulted them within hailing distance of the AL West-leading Astros. The Mariners had dropped four of five, and their starter, Yovani Gallardo had never beaten the A’s in seven previous starts.
But on Sunday, the Mariners cruised and Gallardo was the catalyst.
“It was just a matter of putting everything together,” Gallardo said.
The A’s entered Sunday’s contest with an American League-leading 59 extra base hits, and 24 home runs, a nice start to the season for an offense that seemed likely to sputter on the heels of last season’s struggles. But the A’s have shown pop thus far in 2017, just not on Sunday.
The A’s resume play on Tuesday in Anaheim against the Angels. Jesse Hahn takes the ball for Oakland in a matchup with the Angels’ JC Ramirez.