Heading into the ninth inning, the A’s were down by one run. Jim Johnson allowed four runs on two hits and two walks. All of the runs were unearned due to his throwing error on an infield bunt. Nonetheless, the Mariners opened up the lead and never looked back.
“A walk to start and then the bunt got away from him,” said manager Bob Melvin. “We almost had that double play to get out of the inning but it got away from him.”
Seattle bested Oakland 8-3 and recorded their second consecutive win. Again, the Mariners wasted no time and scored three runs off Jesse Chavez in the first frame. A similar start to Monday’s game when Seattle scored two runs in the first before walking away with the victory.
“I’m not sure what went wrong in the first inning,” Chavez said. “I just had to grind.”
“He was a little out of sorts in the first inning but battled,” said Melvin. “And that’s a sign of a guy that can recover and pitch well, and he kept us in the game. Just got away from us in the end.”
Chavez allowed four hits and one walk in the inning. Craig Gentry had an amazing catch that robbed Corey Hart of a home run. But the A’s had no defense for the next two batters. While Justin Smoak was at-bat, a wild pitch scored in James Jones.
Smoak then hit a double down the third base line and scored in Robinson Cano. Dustin Ackley singled on a line drive to center field and Smoak scored giving the Mariners a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the inning. By the second Oakland responded and cut the lead down to one.
“It just seems like we’re not getting those timely hits we’re accustomed to,” Josh Donaldson said.
The A’s rallied back with a two-run single from Nick Punto to make it a 3-2 game despite a shaky start. Chavez caught a screaming liner that was hit directly toward his head to end the fourth. It knocked him down but he successfully got back up to walk off the mound.
Seattle added on another run in the sixth on Mike Zunino’s sacrifice fly, that ended Chavez night with Oakland trailing the Mariners 4-2. Yoenis Cespedes went yard to leadoff the bottom of the frame and cut the lead to one again. Derek Norris followed with a single but Alberto Callaspo hit into a double play and Gentry struck out to end the inning.
Sean Doolittle came in and struck out the side. Johnson didn’t have as much success, he walked Zunino to lead off the ninth, and his throwing error to first baseman Brandon Moss advanced both runners to second and third with no outs.
Johnson intentionally walked Cano to load the bases. Hart grounded into a force out and Brad Miller scored. Smoak followed with a bloop two-run single to extend the Mariners lead 7-3. And Kyle Seager made it 8-3 with a RBI single. Johnson left the mound to loud boo’s from the crowd. What was once a close game is now no longer in reach. Four runs were all unearned from his own error.