Athletics

Lots of blame to spread around as A's fall to 0-5 on road trip

Lots of blame to spread around as A's fall to 0-5 on road trip

SEATTLE — The manner in which the A’s surrendered the winning run Saturday was a shocker.

The fact that they put themselves in position to lose a 7-6 game to the Mariners to begin with? That you could see coming.

It was one of those nights where the mistakes and the missed opportunities all led to the feeling this wouldn’t end well for a team that’s been hurt all season by so many individual breakdowns.

After the game, rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell faced reporters and took the responsibility for the game-ending play, on which the Mariners’ Jean Segura raced home from third with the winning run on a play ruled a wild pitch by closer Blake Treinen. Treinen threw a breaking ball that dove down and away. Maxwell shifted into position to try to block the pitch, but it squirted through his legs and the A’s didn’t have a play on Segura.

“I just didn’t get my glove down in time. It’s on me,” Maxwell said. “(Treinen) executed, and I miss a ball to lose a game. That’s how it works sometimes.”

The A’s are 0-5 so far on this six-game road trip against the Angels and Mariners. The two defeats that stick out are Wednesday’s and Saturday’s, when the A’s held an 8-3 lead against the Angels and a 6-2 lead on Seattle, respectively.

In both games, the A’s starters — Kendall Graveman on Wednesday and Jharel Cotton on Saturday — didn’t take advantage of the leads they were given and work deep enough into the game, leaving lots of burden on the bullpen. On Saturday, Cotton surrendered three homers and left without retiring a hitter in the fifth.

“The off-speed wasn’t down enough today and that’s where they got me,” Cotton said. “… These guys came out here to play today, and they put some runs on the board for me. I was supposed to go out there and go six or seven hopefully, with the lead I had. I didn’t do that today. It’s frustrating.”

Two errors from normally sure-handed rookie first baseman Matt Olson led to two unearned runs. He missed a pick-off throw from Simon Castro to usher along a rally in the sixth. In the ninth, the Mariners’ winning rally began when Olson let Segura’s grounder get past him and into right field.

For the second outing in a row, setup man Chris Hatcher gave up a costly homer. On Wednesday, it was a go-ahead grand slam to the Angels’ Cliff Pennington. On Saturday, Hatcher threw a pretty decent slider to Mike Zunino in the eighth and Zunino drove it out to the opposite field to tie the game 6-6.

But the fact is, Hatcher is taking on a bigger role than one might have anticipated when he was acquired in a low-profile trade from the Dodgers in mid-August. Such is the state of the A’s bullpen right now. They’re searching for anybody showing the ability to get key late-inning outs.

Manager Bob Melvin made a point not to lay full blame on his pitching staff or the defense, saying the A’s offense went too silent after building a 6-2 lead on the strength of three homers.

“The bullpen really did a good job, we used a lot of guys to try to get through that game,” Melvin said. “But it would behoove us to try to add on a run or two as well. You just can’t sit there and say, ‘Here you go bullpen, shut ‘em down.’ (Seattle is) a real good offensive team.”

The A’s surely left Safeco Field on Saturday night sharing the blame as a team for this loss. They’ll return Sunday looking to avoid a winless two-city road trip.

Bob Melvin provides update on Bruce Maxwell after 'pretty good shot' to face

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USATSI

Bob Melvin provides update on Bruce Maxwell after 'pretty good shot' to face

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell has a history with foul tips and concussion concerns, so there was cause for concern after he took a direct shot during Wednesday's game against the Tigers.

With one out in the ninth inning, Tigers shortstop fouled a ball square into Maxwell's facemask. The A's catcher immediately fell backwards. As manager Bob Melvin and the team trainer checked on him, he appeared dazed and rubbed his eyes. In an attempt to try to stay in the game, reliever Liam Hendriks tossed two warmup pitches. Maxwell missed the first one, but even after he caught the second one, it was clear he wasn't right and was removed from the game.

Afterwards, Melvin was asked about Maxwell's status.

"He went through all the protocol. It doesn't look like a concussion at this point. We'll probably know more in the next couple of days," Melvin told reporters in Detroit. "Took a pretty good shot. More sore on his face because of where the impact was, which was right in the middle of his face."

Josh Phegley replaced Maxwell for the final two outs of the game. Hendriks managed to close out the 3-2 win for the A's.

 

Olson's home run streak ends, but Mengden dazzles as A's sweep Tigers

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AP

Olson's home run streak ends, but Mengden dazzles as A's sweep Tigers

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Daniel Mengden pitched seven scoreless innings, and Marcus Semien homered and drove in three runs, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 3-2 win and three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Mengden (2-1) allowed seven hits and struck out four, extending his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings and helping the A's to their fourth consecutive win. The 24-year-old right-hander missed the first two months of the season after undergoing offseason foot surgery and was making his fifth major league start this year.

Liam Hendriks got the final two outs in the ninth to earn his first save.

Anibal Sanchez (3-5) pitched well in a losing effort, allowing three hits and one run in six innings. He struck out eight and walked three.

Semien's double in the third inning brought home Bruce Maxwell, who led off with a double. His two-run homer in the seventh put the A's up 3-0.

Mengden worked out of a few jams. He got Nick Castellanos to fly out to deep right center with two out and runners on the corners in the third.

In the fifth, after allowing two-out singles to Alex Presley and Jeimer Candelario, Mengden induced another deep flyout from Miguel Cabrera.

Castellanos led off the sixth with a single and advanced on a wild pitch. Mengden got a strikeout and two popouts to leave him stranded.

The Tigers threatened in the ninth off Ryan Dull, who allowed a one-out, two-run single to Andrew Romine. Hendriks relieved Dull and got Jose Iglesias to ground into a fielder's choice before striking out Presley.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Athletics: C Bruce Maxwell left in the ninth after taking a foul ball to the mask from Iglesias. Maxwell stayed down for a few minutes and was replaced by Josh Phegley.

STREAKING:
Castellanos extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games with his single in the sixth. ... Oakland 1B Matt Olson went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk. He had homered in five straight games entering Wednesday, setting an A's rookie record.

UP NEXT:
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.39 ERA) faces Texas on Friday. The Rangers have not announced their starter.

Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-12, 6.18) takes on Minnesota LHP Adalberto Mejia (4-6, 4.62) on Thursday in Detroit.