The A’s got back in front of the home fans Monday night, but it appears their sagging offense accompanied them home from the East Coast.
They managed just four hits in a 4-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners, who are playing very good baseball of late. It continued a trend the A’s began in a weekend series at Fenway Park, where their run production dried up as they dropped two of three to the Boston Red Sox.
After scoring 25 runs in a three-game sweep at Texas, the A’s have scraped together just nine runs over their last four games, and they’ve now lost three of their last four.
Left-hander Scott Kazmir got off to a sluggish start, giving up two first-inning runs and he took his first loss of the season. That snapped his six-game winning streak going back to last season.
Starting pitching report
Scott Kazmir’s seventh start of the season wasn’t his sharpest. Part of his success this season stems from him keeping the leadoff man off base to start innings. But Michael Saunders and Stefen Romero led off the game with back-to-back singles, and that led to a two-run Mariners rally to put the A’s in an early hole.
Kazmir (4-1)settled in over the next three innings. He got a boost when Brandon Moss connected for a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to tie it, but needing a shutdown inning in the fifth, he instead left an off-speed pitch in Romero’s wheelhouse and the right fielder drilled it over the left-field wall for a home run that put the Mariners back up, 3-2.
It was just the second homer Kazmir has surrendered all season. Seattle got to the lefty for one more run in the sixth when Brandon Moss lost Brad Miller’s liner in the lights and it fell for a single that scored Cole Gillespie. Kazmir allowed a season-high four runs on eight hits over six innings.
Ryan Cook looked sharp with two scoreless innings and Fernando Abad turned in his 14th consecutive outing this season without allowing a run.
At the plate
The A’s got little in the way of hard contact off Young (2-0), whose mid-80’s repertoire kept them off balance all night.
They scratched out just three hits over six innings against the 6-foot-10 right-hander. Moss’ two-run shot in the fourth was just the A’s second homer in the past eight games.
It appeared Oakland had a good thing going in the bottom of the seventh. They got to Seattle’s bullpen after Young put the first two runners on. On came lefty Charlie Furbush, who hadn’t retired any of his previous six batters faced. But Furbush coaxed a 6-4-3 double-play grounder from Alberto Callaspo to stunt the rally.
Still, the A’s managed to put runners on the corners with two outs when a chess match began.
Bob Melvin announced Josh Reddick to pinch-hit, only to sub in pinch-hitter Yoenis Cespedes when Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon brought in lefty reliever Joe Beimel. Melvin had the matchup he wanted, but Cespedes popped out to end the threat and keep it a 4-2 game.