Melvin: 'It was a great start, but a bad finish'
The A's scored four runs in the 1st inning, but failed to score again in a 7-4 loss to Seattle. (USA TODAY)
Derek Norris fractured his toe in the 8th inning to add insult to injury. (AP)
OAKLAND -- Nick Franklin broke out of a slump and then had to leave the game early. He's hoping it's not an omen.
Franklin homered and drove in three runs and the Seattle Mariners rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 7-4 on Tuesday night.
"It's been a grind," said Franklin, who hit his first home run in nearly a month and had seven hits in his previous 63 at bats. "I just went back to my old approach and worked through it, hoping to get better."
He'll likely have to wait a few days before he gets into the lineup because of a left knee laceration suffered when he beat a throw to the plate during the decisive eighth.
"I went back to the dugout and somebody thought I was in shock," Franklin said. "I was ready to go. I asked somebody to get me a new pair of pants."
He averted his eyes while the team doctor put stitches in his knee that could keep him out for up to a week.
Mariners interim manager Robby Thompson said it looked like he caught Derek Norris' cleat.
"I want to say it was five stitches," Thompson said. "He had a nice little deep gash in his left knee. He wanted to stay in, just wanted new pants. It was necessary to take care of that right away."
Norris also left the game and X-rays revealed a fractured left toe.
"It's been tough for our catchers here lately," A's Josh Donaldson said. "Dino has struggled with his back thing and now he fractures his toe. I don't know, we'll see how it plays out."
A's catcher John Jaso has been on the disabled list since July 25 with a concussion.
Brad Miller and Kendrys Morales also drove in runs for the Mariners, who won for just the third time in 53 games when trailing after seven innings.
Donaldson and Nate Freiman both homered for the A's, who dropped 1 1/2 games behind the AL West-leading Texas Rangers. Norris also drove in a run for the A's.
Sean Doolittle (4-5) allowed hits to all four batters he faced in the eighth.
"I wasn't walking guys but I was leaving stuff over the plate," said Doolittle, a converted first baseman. "We made a mess of things. It's not the right time of year to have an inning like that."
Brandon Maurer (4-7) pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory.
Danny Farquhar earned his eighth save in 11 chances with a scoreless ninth.
A's rookie Sonny Gray threw seven solid innings, giving up two runs and two hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Mariners starter Joe Saunders went six innings, giving up four runs and 10 hits. He struck out two and walked three.
"I was just trying to stay confident," Saunders said. "Then we got some big double plays and clutch hits."
The Mariners scored five times in the eighth, getting RBIs from Miller, Franklin and Morales and scoring two runs on wild pitches.
The A's used three pitchers, who needed 53 pitches, to get through the eighth. Doolittle has allowed six runs over his past four appearances, a span of 2 2-3 innings.
"We don't see that often. That surprises everybody," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "But you're going to have some games you don't get it done and that's what happened. They had some good at bats, strung some hits together and it happened pretty quickly."
The A's scored all their runs within the first five batters of the game.
Jed Lowrie led off with a triple and scored on Norris' single. Donaldson followed with his 18th home run. After Yoenis Cespedes grounded out, Nate Freiman hit a solo shot.
Franklin hit a two-run home run in the third to bring Seattle within 4-2.
Gray took care of the rest, retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. He's thrown at least six innings in all three of his starts.
Gray had a 13-inning scoreless streak snapped when Franklin homered.
Saunders gave up half of his hits in the first inning, settling in to keep Seattle within striking distance. He got double plays in three successive innings to keep the A's off the scoreboard.