By Gabe Schapiro
This Saturday afternoon contest between the Oakland Athletics (95-66) and Seattle Mariners (71-90) quickly turned into a Mariners slugfest. Oakland made it interesting late, but couldn’t quite complete the come back, losing 7-5. Jarrod Parker, who has been fantastic for much of this season, simply didn’t have his best stuff today, getting hit early and often. Parker falls to 12-8 on the year. Opposing starter Brandon Maurer wasn’t great, but he got the job done.
Parker had an easy first inning, but he consistently struggled from there. Seattle started hammering away in the second inning. Raul Ibanez, a notorious headache for the A’s, reached on a walk, and Justin Smoak followed with a home run that just got over the right field wall, giving them a 2-0 lead.
A Coco Crips sacrifice fly got one of the runs back, but the Mariners bats immediately went back to work. Nick Franklin hit a line drive into the right field corner, but the arm of Josh Reddick managed to limit the damage, throwing him out at third trying for a triple. Unfortunately there was little time to appreciate the play, as the very next hitter, Brad Miller, launched Seattle’s second home run in as many innings, recapturing a two-run lead, 3-1.
Two innings later Miller flashed his power again, this time breaking the game wide open with a no-doubt-about-it grand slam, chasing Parker from the game with Oakland down 7-1.
The A’s bullpen managed to restore some order, and stifled the Seattle offense over the final few innings. At the same time, the Oakland bats started to come alive and the Mariners pen started to stumble.
Oakland added a run in the sixth, and then in the seventh back-to-back home runs from Brandon Moss and Alberto Callaspo, Moss’s 30th on the year, brought the A’s to within just two. They loaded the bases in the eighth, but failed to come up with the big clutch hit.
The comeback attempt fizzled out from there, as Oakland went down 1-2-3 in the ninth inning.
With today’s results, it is official that the A’s will get a chance at revenge when they take on the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the playoffs, a rematch of last seasons ALDS. The dates and times are still to-be-determined.
Tomorrow marks the final day of the regular season, as the Oakland and Seattle wrap up this three game series at 1:10 PM.
Game Notes: Jared Lowrie hit his 45th double of the season, two behind Jason Giambi for the single season Oakland record… Moss is the first A’s player with 30+ home runs in a season since Reddick last season, and Jack Cust in 2008….with the A’s loss and a Red Sox win today, Boston has clinched home field advantage through the postseason. Oakland had already clinched home field for at least the ALDS.