Athletics

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.

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

OAKLAND — Bruce Maxwell’s gesture to take a knee during the national anthem Saturday night at the Coliseum was no knee-jerk reaction by the A’s catcher.

It was something he’s considered for a long time, balancing his own personal convictions to make a statement with how it might affect his teammates and organization.

Think it was bold of Maxwell to become the first player in baseball to kneel during the anthem, in protest of racial discrimination and the inflammatory remarks of President Trump? It took just as much guts to stand before his teammates, manager Bob Melvin and GM David Forst and explain why he felt he needed to do it.

He did so in a pregame meeting Saturday that made for a degree of discomfort in the room, but also seemed to have played out in a healthy way.

“I didn’t want them to sugarcoat or aid me when it comes to the media and their personal feelings,” Maxwell said, “because the whole point of this is the ability to protest (based on) our personal beliefs and our personal choices.”

Many athletes have been critical of the President, with things intensifying across the sports landscape Saturday after Trump, among other things, withdrew an invitation for the Warriors to visit the White House and harshly criticized athletes who have knelt during the anthem, saying they should be booted off their teams.

After blasting Trump on both Instagram and Twitter, Maxwell took the field for the anthem and took the action that will define him in the eyes of the baseball world. Maxwell had been wanting to make a statement in some way. He said he and his sister dealt with racial discrimination growing up. Watching Trump’s rally play out in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala. on Friday further persuaded Maxwell to finally do so.

“This goes beyond the black community, it goes beyond the Hispanic community, because right now we’re having … a racial divide in all types of people,” said Maxwell, who is African American. “It’s being practiced from the highest power we have in this country and it’s basically saying it’s OK to treat people differently. And my kneeling, the way I did it, was to symbolize the fact that I’m kneeling for a cause. But I’m in no way or form disrespecting my country or my flag.”

A’s outfielder Mark Canha stood next to Maxwell during the anthem with his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder, a show of support. Canha said he’s considered kneeling before in protest himself but had chosen not to. As he listened to Maxwell address the team, Canha wasn’t going to let his teammate make his statement on his own.

“I could tell he was getting kind of choked up and emotional about his beliefs and how he feels about the racial discrimination that’s going on in this country right now,” Canha said. “I felt like every fiber of my being was telling me that he needed a brother today.”

Canha added that he sensed some “discomfort” in the room as Maxwell addressed the team. But he also said there was support.

“It was an open forum to ask him questions. It was as articulate as I’ve seen him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “This wasn’t an emotional thing just today for him. … I think he handled it really well and everybody was comfortable after the session. I’m proud of him for the fact he went about it the way he did.”

Maxwell, who was born in Germany while his father served in the Army over there, said he will continue to kneel for the anthem. He doesn’t expect his teammates to do the same, only to stick to what they believe in.

“I have plenty of family members, including my father, who have bled for this country,” Maxwell said. “At the end of the day, this the best country on the planet. My hand over my heart symbolized that I am, and will forever be, an American citizen. But my kneeling is what’s getting the attention because I’m kneeling for the people that don't have a voice.”

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell made history Saturday night in Oakland. The 26-year-old became the first player in big-league history to kneel during the national anthem. 

Below is the official statement from Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.

MLB media services contributed to this report