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Mariners pound A’s with long ball

Friday night started well for the A’s, but it didn’t end that way.

Trying to get hot after an up and down few weeks, Oakland put three runs on the board in the second inning. Then they did practically nothing after that, allowing nine runs to Seattle over the rest of the night in a dreadful 9-5 loss.

This story has been updated with post-game quotes and additional material from the A’s clubhouse.

A’s starter Jesse Chavez (L, 4-8, 3.20 ERA) wasn’t terrible, but he certainly fell short of good.

Chavez allowed four runs on nine hits over 6-2/3 innings, striking out four and allowing two home runs.

He’s allowed three or more runs in five of his last six starts now, and Oakland’s offense can’t seem to produce enough run support on a consistent basis.

Chavez said:

“It’s something where I can go back and look, because there’s a lot of things happening lately that shouldn’t be happening. And I got to go back and take a look at what’s not sharp and what’s not late.”

Mark Canha, Billy Burns, and Marcus Semien all recorded RBIs in the second inning, one apiece, the game rolling along with the A’s in control 3-0.

Until a squall of two-run homers hit Oakland pitching like Moby Dick on Captain Ahab.

Photos by Jeffery Bennett/SFBay

Logan Morrison hit one in the third and Seth Smith hit one in the sixth, prompting Chavez’s departure from the mound. Chavez took the second one a little more to heart than the first, saying:

“Don’t ever expect to swing first pitch, but a good hitter like that, guys go out there with a plan. He executed and I didn’t. The other one shouldn’t happen. Get two outs, two quick outs, and then you fall into a rut like that where you get an at bat versus Smith, who’s a good contact hitter, and he just made a good swing on the ball.”

Nelson Cruz and Brad Miller each hit two-run shots in the eighth inning, with another run coming across on a Dustin Ackley infield hit that was ruled an error.

A’s manager Bob Melvin could have called on Fernando Abad, who’s been dynamic as of late and hasn’t allowed a run in 15 of his last 18 games. Or Eric O’Flaherty, who has a 2.84 ERA since being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list June 2.

Instead, Melvin called on Scribner, who now leads the American League in home runs allowed by a reliever, with his ninth coming on a bad four-seam fastball to Miller.

Said Melvin:

“At one point, he was pitching the eighth inning for us. And recently the long ball has been his problem. He’s left some balls up in the zone, whether it’s a heater up or a curveball hung to MIller. But at this point, we have the guys we know are going to pitch in plus games, and we have to have other guys pitch in down games. And he has the ability to pitch well for us, he’s just going through a tough time.”

After a recent rough patch by Chavez’s standards — he still has a 3.20 ERA after the outing — the veteran said he will soon be taking a closer look at some of his mechanics:

“Little adjustments that I have to make. Some pitches are flat in counts where they shouldn’t be flat. And things that I need to have action on. Downward action, they’re not happening in certain situations. And I don’t know if it’s a lack of mechanical inconsistency or mental inconsistency.”

Oakland is now 37-46 and remains without a win on fireworks night this season. So maybe they should start giving out sparklers instead.

The good, rookie outfielder Billy Burns had his 23rd multi-hit game of the season, and is making an argument for rookie of the year honors, which will be tough considering the crop of rookies this season. But his efforts, at least Friday night, were all for not.

The A’s were pummeled steadily throughout the evening, the fireworks that were hoped to cap off a hometown win were instead just a reminder that the trade deadline is coming, and Oakland isn’t winning.

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