Wild pitch in the ninth inning gives Mariners a 7-6 win over A’s

by Charlie O. Mallonee

M's Jharel Cotton
Jharel Cotton started the game for Oakland*

The Oakland Athletics lost their fifth game in a row as they dropped a 7-6 decision to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night at Safeco Field. The A’s (58-77) have lost the first two games of the three game series in Seattle to the Mariners (68-68).

The game was tied 6-6 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. The A’s sent Blake Treinen to the hill to hold the game at 6-6 and to take it into extra innings. That plan did not work out as intended.

Jean Segura led off the ninth inning for the Mariners and reached base safely on a fielding error by Matt Olson. Former Athletic Yonder Alonso then singled to right field which allowed Segura to move to third base. The A’s then decided to intentionally walk Robinson Cano to load the bases with no outs.

The M’s Nelson Cruz went down on strikes and the A’s followed that with a defensive substitution moving Matt Joyce to left field and inserting Boog Powell into center field while having Khris Davis exit the game.

Kyle Seager then flied out to left field for the second out of the inning. That left everything up to the Mariners Mitch Haniger. With the count at 1-1 to Haniger, Treinen threw a wild pitch that allowed Segura to scamper home giving Seattle the walk-off win 7-6.

A’s manager Bob Melvin did not see the pitch as a wild pitch in a quote given to Reuters. “He (Treinen) gets himself a position to get out of it, we don’t handle the ball behind the plate and it costs us the game,” said Melvin.

Oakland blows a big lead

M's Matt Joyce HR
Matt Joyce hits his 21st home run of 2017*

The A’s let another solid lead be eroded on Saturday night. Oakland scored individual runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead. Seattle came back and scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game at 2-2.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Mariners made a pitching change. Seattle pulled their starter Yovani Gallardo and sent Casey Lawrence to the mound. The A’s capitalized on that change.

Matt Chapman led off the inning by grounding out to first. Bruce Maxwell then drew a walk. Marcus Semien then hit his 13th double of the season off Lawrence that moved Maxwell up to third base.

Matt Joyce came to bat with runners at second and third. He hit a three-run home run (21) off Lawrence to give the A’s a 5-2 lead.

Jed Lowrie was the next hitter and he drew a walk. After a visit to the mound by the pitching coach, Khris Davis stepped into the batter’s box and hit a double (24) to left field and moved Lowrie up to third base. That would be the end of the game for Lawrence as he was removed and replaced by reliever Ryan Garton.

Ryon Healy was the first Athletic to face Garton. He hit a fly ball to center field that would be caught by Jarrod Dyson but Lowrie was able to tag up and score the A’s sixth run of the game. Davis was able to advance to third base on Healy’s sacrifice fly.

Matt Olson flied out to left fielder Ben Gamel in foul ground to end the inning.

That would be the end of the scoring for the Athletics in the game. Seattle would add two runs in the fifth inning, one in the sixth, one in the eighth and then the final winning one in the bottom of the ninth.

It is tough to win when you allow your opponent to score five unanswered runs and take away your four-run lead.

On the mound

Oakland

Jharel Cotton started the game for the A’s and lasted four innings. It was the long-ball that did him in on Saturday night. Cotton gave up three home runs in his four innings of work which resulted in four Seattle runs (all earned). He gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out one.

The Athletics used six relievers to finish the final five innings. Combined they gave up three runs (one earned) off three hits while walking two and striking out five. They also gave up one home run. It was not a picture perfect “Goose Egg” night by any means.

Treinen was charged with loss and his record fell to 1-4 for the season.

Seattle

Yovani Gallardo did not have a quality start for the Mariners. He lasted just three innings on Saturday night giving up two runs (all earned) off five hits. Gallardo walked two, struck out two and gave up two home runs.

The Mariners relief corps had an odd night. Lawrence lasted just 0.1-inning while giving up four earned runs of three hits. After he left the game, the Seattle bullpen settled down and did its job.

The Mariners final three relievers did their job almost to perfection. They posted the coveted “Goose Eggs”. They gave up 0-runs. Over those final 5.2-innings, the three Seattle relievers allowed just three Athletics to reach base.

In the batter’s box

Athletics

The A’s hit three home runs in the game. Bruce Maxwell (3) and Khris Davis (37) each hit solo shots. Matt Joyce (21) hit a three-run blast in the fourth inning.

Two A’s went 2-for-5 in the game — Marcus Semien and Khris Davis. They both scored a run and Davis had an Rbi.

Matt Joyce went 1-for-3 in the game with two walks, a run scored and three Rbi. His one hit was a home run.

The glaring stats of the night for Athletics offense has to be that they were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and that they left nine men on base in the game.

Mariners

M's Zunino HR
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino hits a home run*

Shortstop Jean Segura led the way for Seattle against the A’s on Saturday night. He went 3-for-5 in the game with two Rbi and two runs scored.

Former Athletic Yonder Alonso had a nice against his old mates as he went 2-for-4. He scored two runs, had two hits and had one Rbi in the game.

The M’s catcher Mike Zunino also had a good night with the bat. Zunino went 2-for-3 scoring two runs and adding one Rbi.

Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 at the plate posting two Rbi and scoring one run.

Up next

The Athletics and Mariners will close out this three-game series on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PDT.

The A’s will send rookie RHP Daniel Gossett (3-7, 5.21) to the hill. Gossett took the loss last Monday night in Anaheim against the Angels.

The Mariners will counter with LHP Andrew Albers (2-1, 4.20). Albers came to Seattle from the Braves in a trade last month.

*Photos from Associated Press Sports

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