The Mariners jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning Tuesday night, holding off the A’s in a tight 4-3 win to clinch the first series meeting of the season.
The A’s (28-22) tied the game in the second but couldn’t spark any momentum against Seattle (23-26) until the eighth, and it was too late. Oakland was in the game the entire time, and the bullpen only allowed one hit in their five-plus innings. But the A’s bats were quiet, and they couldn’t do enough in the end.Embed from Getty Images
Bob Melvin broke down the game but really the series, so far:
“We gave up four runs. It’s not like we gave up ten runs in a couple games. We just offensively didn’t do enough and they offensively did just enough so I don’t think it was a matter of us pitching poorly and them swinging the bats great. They got some big hits when they had to and they got a lead early in the game so its more about our offense and not getting enough runs.”
Cole Irvin (L, 3-6, 3.92 ERA) gave up a leadoff single to Jarred Kelenic before he walked Mitch Haniger to put two on with no outs. He retired the next two batters but back-to-back singles from Ty France and J.P Crawford made it 2-0 after the first.
Irvin, who typically mans up to his mistakes, was not happy after back-to-back low-inning starts:
“Bottom line is I wasn’t executing and limiting, I mean I don’t even know where to begin because there was so much. I wasn’t executing in two-strike counts, a lot of times I wasn’t getting ahead. Really a team like that, there was a lot of weak contact and swings that ended up being hits. I think at the end of the day pitch execution needs to be a lot better and a team like that should not be putting up ten hits against me or anyone. I am extremely disappointed in my efforts tonight.”
Matt Olson led off the second with a double and the king of doubles, Jed Lowrie, followed with a two-bagger off the wall in left center to drive in the A’s first run and make it 2-1. With two outs, Tony Kemp singled to right to tie it 2-2 when Lowrie scored from second on the play.
Lowrie drove in one of the A’s three runs and gave credit to the young team:
“It’s a long season, you are going to see a bunch of different arms, you aren’t going to score a ton of runs all the time. You have to find ways to win games where the score isn’t high and they played well. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.”
In the third, Crawford led off with a double down the left field line before Mariners catcher Tom Murphy doubled off the wall in right center to make it 3-2. With two outs, Kelenic singled to right and Murphy scored to make it 4-2 before the inning came to an end.
Irvin said his last outing lacked conviction and he blamed his execution for Tuesday’s loss. He gave credit to the bullpen, who only allowed one hit in 5-1/3 innings:
“… credit the bullpen and credit the offense to at least keep it close and keep us in the game. For the bullpen to come in and only give up one hit the rest of the outing was pretty remarkable so credit to those guys for picking me up … unfortunately I was not good enough to even remotely sniff a win.”
“Good job, we held them there, gave ourselves a chance. We always feel like when we get to the ninth inning we have a chance to win. We had some base runners that were gunna win and a lot of times we do just didn’t come up with one more hit tonight whether it was in the eighth or the ninth but the pen did a good job to hold it there.”
Paul Sewald relieved Logan Gilbert in the fifth. Gilbert exited the game at 78 pitches where he allowed two runs on four hits. Sewald (W, 2-0, 1.29 ERA) struck out four in two innings while also hitting Sean Murphy with a 75-mph slider.
JT Chargois pitched a perfect seventh but gave up a one out double to Ramon Laureano in the eighth before he was relieved by LHP Anthony Misiewicz. Misiewicz threw a wild pitch to advance Laureano to third who then scored on a throwing error by Mariners catcher Murphy to make it 4-3 during Olson’s at bat.
Misiewicz drew a full-count nine pitch walk to Olson, the first batter he faced, and allowed Chargois’ one hit to score in the process. Misiewicz then threw another wild pitch with two outs to Sean Murphy to put Olson, the tying runner on second. Murphy hit a bomb just a foot short of a two-run homer that would have put the A’s up 5-4 but instead ended the inning. The A’s managed to score a run, and it was earned and belonged to Chargois.
Melvin explained how big of a game-changer the catch in right-center was:
“It is the difference in the game. When you have one run games like that. It is a small margin for error and if either one of those balls, certainly Murhpy’s ball, if that gets down it is a whole different ballgame so you have to give them credit. They made some really good plays and sometimes that decides the game for you.”
Lowrie also had some wise words on Murphy’s at bat not even being a homer, if the ball even dropped the A’s had runners in scoring position to tie it:
“Those are big plays in big spots. Those are run saving plays, particularly Murphy’s spot so that ties the game in the eighth there if Mitch doesn’t make that great play in right-center field. That is why I say sometimes you have to tip your cap. It is a young talented team and they played well.”
Trivino kept it a one-run game in the ninth against the Mariners top of the order, giving his team a chance for another walk-off.
Rafael Montero retired Chad Pinder and Kemp in the ninth before Andrus reached on a two-out base hit. Mark Canha stepped to the plate 0-for-4 and was due for a hit, which is exactly what he did, singling up the middle to put runners on the corners with two outs. Brown stepped to the plate and couldn’t repeat his walk-off homer performance from earlier this month, instead grounding out to end the ballgame.
Melvin is pleased with how much Andrus has progressed from the start of the season. He had a three-hit game which is huge for the A’s if the everyday shortstop can be productive at the plate as well:
“He is swinging the bat a lot better, the last couple weeks or so. That is a big benefit at the bottom of the order there and now you got some speed as well on base so he is starting to hit his stride.”
Mariners Donovan Walton picked up a birthday single when he pinch hit in the sixth… Four of the seven Oakland hits were doubles.