Instant Replay: A's only manage two hits, drop series to Mariners

Instant Replay: A's only manage two hits, drop series to Mariners

BOX SCORE

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).

Bullpen report

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.

Attendance

A crowd of 14,117 was on hand.

Up next

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.

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

NEW YORK — Jed Lowrie is the counterpoint to the A’s home run-crazed offensive attack.

Sure, the A’s switch-hitting second baseman can muscle up and clear the fence. But Lowrie’s approach is more about spraying base hits all around and using the whole field. He was at it again in Friday’s 4-1 A’s victory over the Yankees, going 3-for-4 and delivering an RBI single that snapped a scoreless tie in the eighth.

“I always have to carry his glove out to second for him because he’s always on base,” shortstop Adam Rosales said. “He looks really good at the plate right now, and he’s kind of just putting us on his back. It’s contagious to see a guy like that doing so well.”

Lowrie bumped his average up to .310 with Friday’s game. Until he grounded out in the sixth, he’d notched hits in seven consecutive at-bats dating back to Tuesday night. That streak fell one shy of the A’s record for most consecutive hits. Three players share the record at eight — Josh Reddick (in 2016), Dave Magadan (1997) and Brent Gates (1994).

“It’s all about the work,” said Lowrie, whose 15 doubles are tied for third in the AL. “Everything comes together when you’re seeing it well. I’m seeing it well but the approach hasn’t changed.”

With two runners aboard and two out in the eighth, Lowrie punched an RBI single to right off Tyler Clippard for the game’s first run. It was the breakthrough the A’s needed after they’d struck out 13 times in seven innings against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. Khris Davis followed Lowrie’s hit by beating out an infield single to score another run. Then Stephen Vogt added a two-run homer in top of the ninth to make it 4-0, and that provided some cushion as closer Santiago Casilla gave up a run and made things tenser than they should have been in the bottom half.

Davis, the most fearsome hitter in Oakland’s lineup, is thrilled to have a productive Lowrie batting in front of him as the No. 3 man.

“Somebody’s gotta hit .300,” Davis said. “All year he’s been our most consistent hitter and best hitter. I hope he keeps going.”

The A’s have won four in a row at Yankee Stadium dating back to last year. It’s their longest winning streak in the Bronx since a four-gamer at the old stadium in 2006. And it was a good way to begin a seven-game road trip for the A’s, who came in with the league’s worst road record at 6-15.

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Rosales had puffiness under his right eye and said he was anticipating a shiner after his hard head-first dive into third base didn’t go as planned in the eighth. He scraped up his face pretty good after going first to third on an errant pickoff throw and taking a hard dive into third, only to find the dirt wasn’t giving.

After addressing reporters, Rosales said he was on his way to find an ice pack.

Manaea's 'big mentality switch' keys success in first Yankee Stadium start

Manaea's 'big mentality switch' keys success in first Yankee Stadium start

NEW YORK — Dealt another dose of injury bad news Friday, the A’s got to temporarily push those thoughts aside once Sean Manaea took the mound.

The big lefty shined in his first career outing at Yankee Stadium, matching Masahiro Tanaka pitch for pitch and spinning his best start of the season in a 4-1 A’s victory.

After he walked leadoff man Brett Gardner on four pitches in the first, it conjured up memories of his five-walk outing two starts ago at Seattle. But from that point on Manaea locked in, allowing just four hits over seven innings and striking out eight. Not a single Yankee advanced past second base against him.

“He was out there chucking,” A’s left fielder Khris Davis said. “He’s got that Chris Sale stuff where people are swinging and missing in the zone. It’s great to see that.”

The day began with news that Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman and fellow starter Jesse Hahn both are likely headed to the disabled list with shoulder and triceps strains, respectively. It continues the cycle of injury woes for the A’s, who have lost every starter except Andrew Triggs to at least one stint on the 10-day DL. With two-fifths of the rotation down for an unknown period of time, Manaea takes on an even more significant role.

“For a young guy we’ve leaned on him pretty hard since he’s gotten here, but now probably a little bit more so,” manager Bob Melvin said.

Yet no matter what is unfolding elsewhere on the pitching staff, the challenge for Manaea always stems from within. He’s talked often this season about the need to be mentally tougher and more aggressive attacking the strike zone. After the leadoff walk to Gardner, Manaea (3-3) said a switch flipped inside of him.

“I was thinking that these guys weren’t gonna hit me at all, and that I just needed to throw strikes and trust the defense,” he said. “I know I can get these guys out. To me it was a big mentality switch, and just believing in myself and trusting everything.”

Tanaka, who has disappointed this season to the tune of a 6.56 ERA entering Friday, put it together against Oakland and rang up a career-high 13 strikeouts without a single walk. But Manaea was more than up to the task, keeping New York off the board until the A’s scored twice in the eighth to snap a scoreless tie off former Athletic Tyler Clippard, who relieved Tanaka to start that inning.

“He was pitching with a lot of confidence, and that’s what I love to see,” A’s catcher Stephen Vogt said of Manaea. “He wants the ball, wanted to keep going out there. It was awesome.”