SEATTLE — Christian Bergman is one of several pitchers the Mariners are counting on to prop up their injury-torn rotation, but the A’s had no answer for the fill-in starter Wednesday night.
Oakland didn’t advance a single runner past first base in a 4-0 loss that brought a dismal six-game road trip to a close. The right-hander held the A’s to two hits over 7 1/3 innings and struck out nine. Given that performance, the A’s didn’t have much margin for error behind Jesse Hahn, and they certainly were not flawless.
Two big outfield mistakes, both with Ben Gamel hitting, led to two of Seattle’s runs. Right fielder Matt Joyce let Gamel’s liner get by him in the first for a triple and Nelson Cruz’s sacrifice fly provided the game’s first run. After two runs already had crossed the plate in the fifth, Gamel lofted a fly ball into left-center.
Mark Canha made a long run over from center field and had the ball pop out of his glove for an error, putting runners at second and third. Cruz’s grounder to third scored another run and made it 4-0. Hahn (1-3) got off to a strong start, but that fifth inning elevated his pitch count and he was lifted before the sixth, having thrown 103 pitches.
Compounding things to conclude a 1-5 trip, A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso exited the game in the seventh with what was announced as left knee soreness.
Starting pitching report
Hahn appeared to have lively stuff, striking out six over his five innings. He gave up five hits with two walks. Three of his four runs were earned. He’s now allowed three earned runs or less in all eight of his appearances this season (seven starts).
Bobby Wahl and Josh Smith combined for three scoreless innings.
At the plate
For the first time all season, the A’s did not record an extra-base hit. They came in as just one of three teams in the majors that could claim that, along with the Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins.
Looking to stick with the mojo that led to Tuesday’s nine-run outburst, manager Bob Melvin started Canha in center field for the second night in a row over Rajai Davis. The momentum didn’t carry over, as the A’s managed just two hits and four base runners all night.
Matt Joyce, leading off for the third game in a row, went 0-for-3 before Chad Pinder pinch-hit for him in the eighth. A’s leadoff hitters entered the night batting .171, tied with Kansas City for the lowest average in the majors.
In the field
The A’s roll the dice that Canha’s offensive production will outweigh any mistakes from his inexperience playing center, but his dropped ball was a costly mistake. That makes it a major league-high 37 errors for Oakland in 40 games.
A crowd of 14,117 was on hand.
The Boston Red Sox visit the Coliseum for a four-game series that begins Thursday. The opener is a matchup of Sonny Gray (0-1, 3.78) vs. the major league debut of Hector Velazquez at 7:05 p.m. Friday’s 6:35 p.m. fireworks night matchup is one to see, with Kendall Graveman (2-2, 3.95) going up against Chris Sale (4-2, 2.15). Sean Manaea (1-3, 5.52) and former Athletic Drew Pomeranz (3-3, 5.29) take the mound Saturday at 1:05 p.m. and Sunday’s finale pits Andrew Triggs (5-2, 2.12) against Eduardo Rodriguez (2-1, 3.05) at 1:05 p.m. The entire series will air on NBC Sports California.