Second game: Mariners sweep A’s at home at home; Night Cap laugher 12-3

Oakland A’s starter Paul Blackburn (58) is lifted by A’s manager Bob Melvin (not pictured) in the third inning. Blackburn pitched just 2.1 innings giving up five hits and seven runs in the second game of a doubleheader against the Seattle Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum Sat Sep 26, 2020 (AP News photo)

Oakland 3 9 0

Seattle 12 12 1

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–Robbie Grossman quickly took the sting out of the A’s extra inning loss in the first game of today’s doubleheader. Batting in the number two slot for the “visiting” Oakland Athletics in the second game, he blasted a 2-2 four seamer from the Seattle Mariners Justin Dunn and drove it 350 over the right field wall to give Oakland a 1-0 lead with one out in the first.

And that’s your A’s Highlight of the Game.

The Mariners scored eight runs in the third inning in the 12-3 laugher over the  A’s. Seven of them were charged to Paul Blackburn, making his first appearance of the season. He had been added to Oakland’s roster as the additional player allowed during double headers.

His stint lasted two and a third innings, during which he surrendered the aforementioned seven runs, all of them earned, on five hits and two walks. He also managed to strike out a couple of Mariners.

In the terrible third, Seattle sent thirteen batters to the plate (i.e., five came up once, and four made two appearances). Dee Strange-Gordon, possessor of the best big league moniker since Van Lingle Mungo, went two for two in the third, and Joseph Odon, JP Crawford, Kyle Seager, Ty France, Tim Lopes, Evan White, and Braden Bishop all connected for base hits.

Two of those safeties, White’s RBI infield single and Strange-Gordon’s second single (also a run producer) came off James Kaprielian, who relieved Blackburn and, after giving up those two hits and a walk, got the two final outs of the frame.

Yeah, the A’s got a run back in the fourth and Robbie Grossman slammed a homer to right in the fourth, but that upped the A’s total run production to three, where it stood until the game mercifully with Tommy La Stella hitting into, what else?, a double play.

Meanwhile, Seattle crossed the plate three more times, once in each the fourth and sixth and twice in the fifth, to bring their total to eleven. Oakland’s total hit count was a respectable nine, three of which were contributed by Robbie Grossman.

Every Mariner except José Marmolejos and Branden Bishop got at least one hit. Crawford, Lopes, and Strange-Gordon each got a pair, and Evan White went three for four to bring his average up to .180. It was that sort of an afternoon.

Both teams rested some of their best players, Semien and Laureano among them, so there’s little reason to fear that dropping today’s twin bill to the M’s will damage the Oakland team’s morale in any significant way.

Blackburn was, of course, charged with the loss. James Kaprilian, Jordan Weems, and TJ McFarland each contributed, and none of them failed to yield at least one run. The longest stint of any of the relievers was Karielian’s one and two-thirds innings; the others pitched an inning apiece.

The Mariners’ Justin Dunn pitched decently enough, allowing three earned runs on six hits in five innings. He now has four wins in set against his single loss. Walter Lockett gave up three hits but didn’t allow a run to score in his two innings of mop up relief.

Marco González (7-2, 3.06) will battle against Frankie Montás (3-5, 6.32) starting tomorrow at 12:10. When that game is over and the dust has settled around the rest of MLB, we’ll see who it is who’ll be coming to The Coliseum on Tuesday.

Unless, as has been known to happen this year, something new and completely different occurs.

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