A’s lose slugfest in Seattle on Saturday night 10-8

10-8 Ms
Graphic: @athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland A’s can score runs. On Saturday night in Seattle, they put eight runs up on the board which frankly should be enough to win any major league game. The problem is the A’s pitchers gave up 10 runs to the Mariners and Oakland lost their second game in a row 10-8.

The Athletics four pitchers gave 10 runs off 17 hits. They gave up four home runs in the game. The A’s pitchers gave up three 2-out RBI which breaks the back of team trying to get healthy on the road. Ironically, the Oakland pitchers issued only two walks.

The performance of A’s starting pitcher Kendall Graveman (0-3) has to be of real concern to the coaching staff and the front office. Graveman made his fourth start on Saturday night and lasted only four innings. He gave up five runs (all earned) on eight hits. Graveman – who was the losing pitcher – recorded five strikeouts and walked two hitters. He gave up one home run – a three-shot with two out in the bottom of the second to Jean Segura (1).

A’s television color analyst Ray Fosse believes Graveman needs to change his pitching style back to what he was doing last season. Graveman was pitching like a classic “sinker-baller” who was working to get a ground ball out and not a strikeout. This season, Graveman appears to have upped his velocity and is going after strikeouts which does not seem to be working out very well for the pitcher.

Oakland used three relievers on Saturday. Danny Coulombe came on in relief of Graveman and was hit hard by the M’s. He issued three runs (two earned) off four hits including one home run. Emilio Pagan worked 1.1 innings of relief and posted all deuces in the book. He allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits – both home runs.

The one positive out of the bullpen in the for the Athletics was the performance of Yusmeiro Petit. Petit came on in the seventh inning and stopped the Mariners in their tracks. He worked two innings allowing no runs on three hits while striking out two batters.

Seattle used seven pitchers in the contest. The M’s starter Marco Gonzales lasted just 3.1 innings giving up four runs (all earned) off five hits. Chasen Bradford relieved Gonzales and ultimately was awarded his first win of the season. Edwin Diaz came in for the top of the ninth inning to record his sixth save of the season. It is not very often you will see a team score 10 runs and need their closer to come into the game to record a save.

The seven Mariners pitchers gave up eight runs (all earned) on 10 hits. They walked three and combined for 11 strikeouts.

A’s with the bat

Photo: @athletics
  • Mark Canha had a big game. He went 2-for-5 at the plate and hit his first home run of the season.
  • Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 on the night with one RBI and a run scored.
  • Khris Davis hit his fifth home run of the season – a two-run shot in the seventh inning with two outs.
  • Stephen Piscotty also had a nice game with the bat. He hit his first home run of the season while going 2-for-4 in the game picking up two RBI.

Seattle was in power mode with their bats

vogelbach hr
Voglebach home run Photo: @mariners
  • Segura, Haniger, Seager, and Vogelbach all hit round-trippers off A’s pitchers in the Mariners win.
  • Seager and Vogelbach each recorded a double.
  • The M’s went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Up next

The final game of the series and the road trip will take place on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM. The A’s will send lefty Sean Manaea (1-2, 1.74) to the hill to face the Mariners “King” Felix Hernandez (2-1, 6.00).


Sho-nuff got the right stuff: Ohtani unhittable in second outing versus the A’s


By Morris Phillips

Years from now, the video chronicling the Major League Baseball career of Shohei Ohtani will begin with the Japanese star plowing through the Oakland A’s.

From Ohtani’s perspective, it will make for a rousing start to a multi-faceted highlight reel.

For the A’s, not so much.

Ohtani beat the A’s for the second straight Sunday–earning his first two big league wins–as he dominated from the start, retiring the first 19 batters he faced. For seven innings, Ohtani was in control, allowing just one hit with 12 strikeouts and no walks.  Only Jonathon Lucroy among those in the A’s starting lineup could avoid striking out at least once.

“It didn’t look like [the A’s] had a chance up there, the way he was throwing,” Angels infielder Zack Cozart said. “They got the (one) hit, but it didn’t diminish how he pitched.”

In Oakland, Ohtani clocked in the high-90’s and became nearly unhittable when those fastballs were mixed in with the pitcher’s confounding breaking pitches. But at least he was temporarily fallible, allowing a three-run homer to Matt Chapman. In Anaheim, the 23-year old executed from the first to the seventh, allowing only Marcus Semien’s solidly struck single in the seventh.

From the A’s perspective, their offense was left wounded and in need of an ambulance. The toll in the two Ohtani starts? 55 A’s plate appearances, six batters reached, four hits, two walks and 18 struck out.

“He’s got a deliberate delivery, and it makes his fastball play even better,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “And he has a really good (splitter). The difference in speeds between his split and his fastball and when he locates his split down in the zone, it’s very tough to pick up.”

Ohtani homered in three consecutive games earlier this week, the last of which came against the A’s Friday night. So that’s three home runs and two wins in the first 10 games of Ohtani’s MLB career. No one’s accomplished that combination of feats in the first 10 games of their career since Jim Shaw did so for the Washington Senators in 1919.

The A’s fell into the AL West cellar with the loss, their fifth in seven meetings with the Angels to start the season.




A’s beat the Angels 7-3 on Saturday night to even the series at one game apiece

Graphic: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Seven was the magic number for the Athletics on Saturday night in Anaheim. The A’s scored seven runs on seven hits and recorded seven RBI en route to a 7-3 over the Los Angeles Angels in the second game of a three-game series. The series is currently tied at 1-1.

The A’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning and they never trailed in the contest. Oakland scored three runs in the second inning, one run in the fifth, two in the eighth and added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning.

The Angels scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it a 3-2 game which is as close as they would come to taking the lead. The Halos scored one more run in the home half of the seventh inning but that was not enough to catch the surging Athletics.

Oakland got a strong performance from their starting pitcher

LAA Triggs
Triggs warming up in Anaheim Photo: @Athletics

Andrew Triggs made his second start of the season for the Athletics and made the most his opportunity on the mound. Triggs worked 5.2 innings giving up just two runs (both earned) off four hits. He struck out six Los Angeles batters while walking just two. Triggs did give up one home run to Justin Upton – his third of the young season.

The A’s bullpen had Triggs back

Ryan Buchter came in to relieve Triggs and he struggled a bit. Buchter gave up one run (earned) on one hit in 0.2 innings worked. The run came off a home run hit by Luis Valbuena which was his second round-tripper of the year.

Emilio Pagan pitched 0.2 innings of relief and posted all zeroes except for one strikeout. Pagan earned his second Hold of the season.

Blake Treinen worked two innings to close out the game. He issued two hits but gave up no base-on-balls and no runs. Treinen struck four Angel hitters. He posted his second save of the year.

No Athletic batter had multiple hits

LAA starters
Graphic: @Athletics

The A’s seven hits were spread out among seven different Oakland players

Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season in the fifth inning off Akeel Morris. Matt Chapman recorded his first triple of the year in the game while Stephen Piscotty hit a double.

Piscotty, Semien, Lowrie, Chapman, Maxwell, and Olson all posted an RBI in the game.

The A’s went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

Series wraps up on Sunday

The eyes of the baseball world will be on the game between the A’s and Angels on Sunday afternoon. Oakland will face the phenomenon of the MLB this season – Shohei Ohtani (0-1, 4.50) for the second time this season. Ohtani’s first ever win in the major league’s came over the A’s last Sunday in Oakland.

The A’s will counter with Kendall Graveman (0-1, 8.10). Graveman has been plagued by giving up the long-ball in both of his starts. He will not be able to issue home runs to the powerful Angels lineup and expect to come away with a victory.

Graveman Ends Rangers Streak at four, A’s Win 4-1

Oakland Athletics pitcher Blake Treinen works against the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

The Oakland A’s snapped the Texas Rangers’ four-game win streak Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum, beating the Rangers 4-1 to dampen their foe’s Wild Card hopes. Kendall Graveman fired seven innings of one-hit ball and Matt Olson hit his 24th homer of the season.

Graveman scattered just six hits, including a solo homerun to Shin-Soo Choo in the top of the third to pick up his 6th win of the season. Olson staked Graveman to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, blasting a right field line drive home run off Rangers starter Nick Martinez that also scored Khris Davis.

The A’s added a run in the bottom of the third after Jed Lowrie’s RBI single, then added another on a Matt Joyce run-scoring single-bagger for a 4-1 lead. Graveman would walk just three and punch out four to hang on for the win.

Chris Hatcher pitched a perfect eighth inning, his 11th straight scoreless frame, then Blake Treinen managed to walk the tight rope, allowing two hits but striking out two for his 13th save. The Rangers send Miguel Gonzalez to the hill hoping to cut into the 3.5 game Wild Card deficit Saturday while Oakland counters with Sean Manaea.

Simple Matt-matics: A’s find Graveman, home runs add up to a nice win over the Orioles

Oakland Athletics’ Matt Joyce, right, celebrates with Boog Powell (3) after hitting a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–Home runs are up throughout Major League baseball, and the A’s are doing their part in the parade around the bases.

No more so than Sunday when the A’s got a home run from everyone named Matt on their current roster–Chapman, Joyce and Olson–while Kendall Graveman showed he’s healthy by frustrating a potent Orioles offense for seven innings to earn the win.

For the youthful A’s the home runs–they rank sixth in the AL, and 12th amongst all 30 clubs with 163 homers–represent a starting point for the team’s resurgence. The home runs also represent progress in a facet of the game that hasn’t been a strength in recent seasons. The 2017 A’s seem assured of surpassing the 169 home runs hit last year, the most the team has hit in any of the last four seasons. They also have an opportunity to surpass the 2013 A’s, who hit 186 bombs led by Brandon Moss (30), Yoenis Cespedes (26), and Josh Donaldson (24).

Of course, home runs aren’t everything. The A’s are a last place club in large part due to their team batting average (.240, tied for last in the AL), paucity of hits (950, 14th in the AL), and awful defense (MLB-worst 96 errors). But the home runs–the majority of which have been hit by the team’s young core led by Khris Davis–suggest a path to overall team improvement in 2018 and beyond.

Baltimore’s dominant closer Zach Britton wouldn’t disagree after Olson turned on his fastball inside and deposited it beyond the right field wall. It marked the first time Britton had allowed a home run to a left-handed hitter in more than four seasons. Britton’s look of disbelief said it all, as did Olson’s look of “I belong” circling the bases.

“I don’t even know what to say about the home run off Britton,” manager Bob Melvin said. “For a lefty to do that?”

“They’ve been throwing me inside a decent amount, especially the lefties, so I took a pitch and sat on an inside pitch and I got it,” Olson said.

Matt Chapman belonged too.

Chapman provided the go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth, the capper in a five-run rally that put the A’s up 5-2, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

When the A’s added another run in the fifth, O’s starter Jeremy Hellickson was finished, having thrown a season-low 65 pitches. Hellickson wasn’t awful, but five hits, two walks and Chapman’s home run were too much on Sunday.

“Just one of those days,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “We knew Graveman — once he got his feet on the ground — he’s solid. Both pitchers were using the benefit of a couple inches off the plate. There were a lot of strikes called today that weren’t strikes, but both pitchers benefited from it.”


Wasn’t this yesterday’s headline?: A’s blow lead late, lose to the Rangers


By Morris Phillips

Ryan Madson has seen it all.  And it’s a good thing: after the A’s sobering loss on Sunday, with Madson centered in another Oakland late-inning, bullpen collapse, the wisdom provided by the veteran reliever may have been essential to getting his frustrated teammates on the plane to Seattle for the team’s next three games.

“It’s baseball,” Madson mused. “There are no guarantees until the last out is made. That’s true on both sides. It’s just the game.”

For the third straight day, the A’s led late only to see the Rangers rally and win, 6-4. For the second straight day, things unraveled in the seventh with the A’s leading 4-2. Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh on Sunday, when starter Kendall Graveman ran out of gas, and Madson couldn’t pick him up.  Neither pitcher had anything to do with the two, previous collapses, and their contributions to Sunday’s loss could be summed in just two pitches. One pitch delivered by each, one after the other.

On Graveman’s final offering of the day, a 94 mph fastball, hitter Delino DeShields Jr. hit a sharply struck grounder to third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who fielded it in foul territory behind the bag.  Plouffe’s throw to first was accurate, just not enough steam to catch a speedy DeShields.  Carlos Gomez, the baserunner breaking from second base wasn’t interested in the outcome at first.  Gomez kept running to the plate, narrowing the A’s lead to 4-3.

With DeShields aboard, and Elvis Andrus due to hit, Melvin summoned Madson, ending Graveman’s afternoon after 99 pitches.  But Madson’s first pitch was tatooed by Andrus for a game-tying double.

Three pitches later, all three changeups thrown likely to take advantage of hitter Nomar Mazara’s agressiveness, the Rangers took the lead when Mazara very astutely knocked Madson’s below-the-belt offering into centerfield.  All of a sudden–in the span of five pitches–Graveman was no longer in line for the win, and Madson was pinned with the loss.

“I wanted to be that guy to get us on a good run,” the 36-year old Madson said.  “It didn’t happen. So the next game, whoever goes out there first, they’re going to try and start that wave in the right direction. That’s all you can do.”

Squandered in the loss were home runs hit by Plouffe, Matt Joyce and Adam Rosales. Joyce’s shot came in the fifth with Rajai Davis aboard, and gave the A’s their 4-2 lead. The swinging A’s have homered 16 times in the last eight games, but after Sunday’s loss, the impact of all those homers hasn’t amounted to much.  The A’s have dropped three straight, landing them back in last place in the AL West, now 9 1/2 games off the pace of the streaking Astros, who have the big league’s best record at 26-12.

With the sweep at the hand of the Rangers, the A’s other issue is their desultory play on the road where they’ve dropped 13 of their first 18 contests away from Oakland.

Sean Manaea is expected to come off the disabled list and start at Seattle on Monday. Yovanni Gallardo will pitch for the Mariners. Robinson Cano has missed the last four games for Seattle with a quad injury.

Graveman flirts with a “no-no” as A’s beat the Rangers 6-1 in Texas

by Charlie O. Mallonee

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
Kendall Graveman worked seven strong innings versus the Rangers on Saturday Photo USA Today Sports

Pitchers are supposed to need two to three starts before really being ready for the long regular season that is Major League Baseball. Someone forgot to tell that to A’s starter Kendall Graveman.

Graveman won his second game of the young season on Saturday night as the Athletics beat the Texas Rangers in Arlington 6-1. Graveman carried a no-hitter through 6.2-innings. The A’s righty lost his no-hit bid when Mike Napoli hit a sinker over the center field wall for a two-out home run. Graveman finished the inning after giving up a single to Rougned Odor – he induced Jonathon Lucroy to line out for the third out.

Graveman went 7.0-innings giving up one run (earned) on two hits. He struck out five and walked one. Graveman threw 85 pitches (58 strikes).

The Oakland bullpen did its job to perfection on Saturday night as well. Santiago Casilla came in and worked a perfect eighth inning that included one strike out. Ryan Madson took the mound in the ninth in a non-save situation and put nothing but zeros in book except for two strikeouts.

With Sonny Gray still on the sidelines, having Graveman (2-0, 2.08) perform this well in the number one spot in the rotation had to be encouraging to the Athletics coaching staff.

The A’s scored all of their runs in the final four innings of the game. They scored one in the sixth, one in the seventh, three in the eight and an one insurance run in the top of the ninth inning.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
Yonder Alonso celebrates his first home run of 2017 Photo: USA Today Sports

Yonder Alonso was the man of the hour for the A’s on Saturday night. He went 2-for-4 at the plate, scored two runs and drove in two runs. He moved up to third base on Mike Napoli’s throwing error in the seventh inning and scored on Rajai Davis’ sacrifice fly. Alonso scored his second run when he hit first home run of the season in the bottom of eighth inning with Jed Lowrie on base.

Jed Lowrie continues to be on fire at the plate for the A’s. He went 3-for-4 including a double on Saturday with one RBI and one run scored. Lowrie’s batting average now stands at an impressive .381.

Rajai Davis had what may have been a breakout game for him by going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Oakland scored their six runs on 10 hits. They left seven runners on base. The A’s were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
Yu Darvish took the loss versus the A’s Photo: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish (0-1, 3.65) started his second game of the season and took the loss. Darvish worked 6.0-innings and gave up one run (earned) on four hits. He struck five A’s batters and walked three. Darvish threw 91 pitches (61 strikes).

The Rangers used a total of five pitchers in the game.

Texas left two men on base and went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position. When you only have two base runners, your RISP numbers look really sad.

The rubber game of the series will be played on Sunday

Texas Manaea
Sean Manaea will take the hill for the A’s on Sunday in Texas

The A’s and Rangers will get underway at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday. Oakland’s LHP Sean Manaea (0-0, 6.00) will go up against the Rangers’ LHP Martin Perez (0-1, 4.50).

Manaea worked 6.0-innings on Tuesday night versus the Angels giving up four runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out four. Manaea wound up with a no-decision in that game that A’s eventually lost.

Oakland A’s Sunday day off report: A’s may show what they’ve got to offer sooner rather than later this season

Oakland Athletics’ Yonder Alonso slides to score against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning of an exhibition baseball game Saturday, April 1, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Alonso scored on a two-run double by Athletic’s Matt Joyce. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The A’s enter Monday’s season opener at the O.co Coliseum against the Angels with this unsettling fact in the back of their collective minds: they haven’t won a game in more than a week, losing their last six exhibition contests and 8 of 9.

Luckily, regular season momentum isn’t always built in spring training.  But for a club that lost 93 games in 2016, scored an American League worst 653 runs, and lost 47 games at home where its offense was its most tepid, a fast start would be a welcome change, and quite obviously, a good sign.

But the A’s schedule doesn’t offer many soft landing spots, especially in the first two months, so whatever the A’s have to do to win, it likely will have to start with playing well.  In the first two months, the A’s play the Angels 10 times, the Twins three times and the Marlins twice.  Other than that, Oakland will  see a steady diet of teams that consider themselves playoff contenders and threats to win the AL pennant. The Mariners, Rangers, Yankees, Indians, Royals, Astros, Tigers and Red Sox comprise 38 of the A’s first 53 games and all eight of those teams figure to be in the mix for the AL postseason.

To counter all those talented clubs, the A’s have to get the most out of their youthful, but promising pitching rotation, their experienced bullpen, and their hopefully improved lineup.  But Sonny Gray, the presumptive ace, will start the season on the disabled list, and Ryan Madson, the guy most likely to earn a closers’ role, didn’t pitch well in the spring.   The A’s starting lineup offers Jed Lowrie, Matt Joyce and Trevor Plouffe as experienced additions, but this is an offense that has to build itself up from scratch based on last year’s inability to score runs.

If the A’s do overcome all the inertia that might be pulling them downward in the AL West standings, a couple of names stand out: Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea and Stephen Vogt.

Graveman made five spring starts, allowing just 13 hits in 19 2/3 innings of work.  He stuck out 16, and issued only three walks.

November is coming and things will be heating up for the A’s



by Charlie O. Mallonee

With the World Series almost over, that means the “Hot Stove League” is warming up. Let’s see what might be cooking for the Oakland Athletics.

Arbitration-Eligible Players

Khris Davis swings away
  • Danny Valencia IF/OF is ARB 3 and will get a projected $5.3-million in arbitration if the A’s go there. The question is do they need Valencia at this point? The answer is probably not. They have Healy at third base and Valencia is not a great outfielder. Look for Valencia to be a free agent.
  • Yonder Alonso IF/DH is also at the ARB 3 level and is projected get a contract worth $4.1-million. With Billy Butler gone, the A’s will be using a platoon system at the DH spot. Alonso can supply some power at the plate and plays a decent first base. Look for the A’s to pony up the bucks to keep him around.
  • Khris Davis OF/DH is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career. Coming off a 42 home run – 102 RBI season Davis is looking forward to the process which will probably get him a $5-million contract.
  • Sonny Gray RHP is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. Unfortunately for Gray, he is coming off an injury-riddled season that will keep his numbers down. The projection is that he will receive a $3.7-million deal.
  • Stephen Vogt C will also experience the arbitration process for the first time in his career. Coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons cannot hurt his negotiations. Look for him to get around $3.7 million.
  • Liam Hendriks RHP – the Aussie reliever – made 53 appearances for the A’s the in 2016. The Athletics have to decide if that production is worth a $1-million contract which is what he’s projected to get in arbitration.

Players file for arbitration in January and the teams then respond with contract offers or inform the player an offer will not be tendered. If a contract cannot be negotiated, an arbitration hearing will take place in early February.

Arbitration salary projections are from RosterResource.com that has a track record of being very accurate with their projections

Players for whom Arbitration is only a dream


  • Marcus Semien SS arbitration eligible in 2018
  • Kendall Graveman RHP first arb year in 2018
  • Ryan Dull RHP the young reliever will not see arbitration until 2019
  • Sean Manaea LHP  will join Dull at the arbitration table in ’19
  • Ryon Healy IF/DH the young phenom will not see arbitration until 2020

Given the cost of MLB players in today’s market, you can see why the cost conscious Athletics like find talented young players that they can control through the pre-arbitration process and then trade during the arbitration years for … younger players.

Free Agent Moves

Lambo had his 2016 season cut short when it was discovered that he had testicular cancer. He had to undergo surgery but has recovered and is ready to get back to playing the game. Lambo batted .255 in 56 games a Triple-A Nashville.

Cubs in the World Series nets the A’s a pitcher

The A’s claimed LHP Giovanni Soto off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. He was designated for assignment to make room on the Cubs 40-man roster for Kyle Schwarber who went to the Arizona Fall League and is now on the Chicago World Series roster.

Soto made his Major League debut in September 2015 with the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland traded Soto to the Cubs in April 2016 for cash. He spent the season at Triple-A Iowa where he went 1-3 with 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances.


A’s find there’s no mercy rule down two touchdowns, lose 14-3 to the Mariners

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–This was a good week for the Oakland A’s—radio personality Mychael Urban made that declaration on his “Inside the Bigs” show Saturday morning—it just didn’t end good.

The A’s saw improving Kendall Graveman toss a clunker, allowing a career-worst 12 hits in a 14-3 blowout, that saw the A’s trailing 14-0 before a late field goal lent a measure of respectability.  Graveman came in with just as many wins (10) as his pitching opponent, Felix Hernandez, but he left needing to go back to the drawing board.

“I just didn’t overall locate the ball as well as I have in the past,” Graveman said.  “Just get back to it and continue to work and finish out the last couple strong and wash this one away.”

“It was just one of those games where he was a little bit off and didn’t have command of his fastball like he normally does,” manager Bob Melvin said of his pitcher.

While Graveman struggled, Hernandez cruised, winning for a 14th time in Oakland, tying Tommy John for the most wins by an opposing pitcher at the Coliseum.  King Felix allowed six hits and a walk in six innings of work, but no runs.  Four of the six hits he allowed came in the first two innings, when the A’s threatened but couldn’t break through.

Hernandez kept the A’s off balance with his assortment of breaking pitches in full effect.  It hasn’t been the perennial Cy Young candidate’s best season, but when he’s on, he’s lethal.  Against the A’s inexperienced lineup, and given the club’s offensive struggles at home, this one in the books early.

“When you give him a lead—I think it was up to six runs—he’s not going to let those slip away,” Mariners’ manager Scott Servais said.  “He knows how to get deep into games.  That’s why he’s Felix.”

Seven Mariners had at least two hits in the team’s 17-hit attack.  Nelson Cruz had three hits and scored twice, Kyle Seager had a pair of hits including a solo shot in the seventh that Dennis Eckersley—the big head, run around the warning track version—had a bird’s eye view of in the seats in the right field corner.  Seager’s shot made it 9-0 and the normally wide-eyed Eck appeared downcast as well watching the slugger’s ball careen around the field level staircase to his left.

The Mariners got two in the first inning, four in the third, two in the sixth, and six runs in the seventh to build their 14-0 lead.  A’s reliever J.B. Wendleken got beat up pretty good in the seventh, allowing four hits and five earned runs.  Wendleken’s ERA sits at 10.80 after seven forgettable appearances—all in A’s losses—where he’s allowed 17 hits in 11 plus innings of work.

The A’s got a little back late, but they needed a fielding error from Seager to push across the first run in the seventh.  In the eighth, Ryon Healy connected, his two-run blast was his eighth of his abbreviated big league season.

The Mariners have won three straight to get within three games of the second wild card spot, but that just leaves them on the fringes of that race with the red-hot Yankees, Tigers and Astros among the five teams on the list above them.  The A’s finished their “good” week at 3-3, with good encompassing several eye-popping performances from their youngsters.  The A’s registered a pair of nice late-inning victories on Sunday and Tuesday, and saw Jharel Cotton make an impressive big league debut on Wednesday, while drawing comparisons to Pedro Martinez.

Still the A’s sit 60-81, and with their 41st loss at home will register consecutive losing seasons at the Coliseum for the first time in the 21st century.

On Sunday, Raul Alcantara gets his second shot at respectability, looking for a major upgrade on his first big league appearance in which he couldn’t finish three innings.  James Paxton will go for the Mariners, he’s won both of his previous starts against the A’s.