Instant Replay: Parker strong, but Morales' blast in 10th wins it

Instant Replay: Parker strong, but Morales' blast in 10th wins it
June 23, 2013, 4:15 pm
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The A's finished their seven-game road trip to Texas and Seattle with a 2-5 record. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

BOX SCORE

Having played 30 games in 31 days -- their lone off day between May 24 and Sunday was on June 10 -- you could forgive the A's if they were a tad sluggish entering the series finale at Seattle.

And with a 6-3 loss to the Mariners in 11 innings on Kendrys Morales' three-run home run off Grant Balfour, you'd have a hard time finding anyone to argue that point.

The A's began this 30-in-31 stretch winning 16 of 20, including the three-game sweep of the New York Yankees. But since that epic 18-inning victory against the Yankees on June 13, Oakland has gone just 3-7, dropping two of three to the Mariners, three of four in Texas and two of three in Seattle.

Oakland, which went just 2-5 on the seven-game road trip to American League West foes Texas and Seattle, saw its record against the Mariners fall to just 5-8 on the season.

The A's (44-34) fell half-a-game behind first-place Texas (43-32), which played Sunday night against St. Louis. Oakland, which is off Monday before starting a two-game interleague set against Cincinnati, will have another off day Thursday and a third off day on July 1.

Starting pitching report
Jarrod Parker shut out Mariners not named Raul Ibanez, who hit a pair of two-strike home runs -- a two-out, two-run shot in the first inning and a solo homer with one out in the fourth. Parker did not receive a decision after going seven innings and giving up the three runs while striking out six and walking one in his season high-equaling 108 pitches, 71 strikes.

Bullpen report
A's relievers had been more arsonists than firemen on this seven-game roadie, going a combined 0-3 with only one save in four opportunities and a 6.61 ERA while opponents hit .324 against them entering Sunday. Sean Doolittle acquitted himself well, retiring all six batters he faced while authoring scoreless eighth and ninth innings, striking out Ibanez on three pitches in the ninth. But closer Balfour (0-1), pitching in a non-save situation, suffered the loss after getting Justin Smoak to ground out, striking out Mike Zunino (but Balfour's final pitch scooted away from John Jaso for a wild pitch and Jaso's throw to first was off line, allowing Zunino to advance to first), giving up a single to Michael Saunders and then, surrendering the first-pitch homer to Morales to right-center.

At the plate
Brandon Moss' two-out solo homer off Danny Farquhar tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth inning. It came on a 3-and-1 count and Moss launched Farquhar's 92-mph cutter high into the right-field stands for Moss' 14th home run. Designated hitter Seth Smith, meanwhile, had three hits and is 12 for his last 29 (.414).

In the field
With Mariners runners at the corners and one out in the seventh, Parker induced a ground ball up the middle from Michael Saunders that looked as if it were going to score a run…until shortstop Jed Lowrie veered to his left to scoop up the ball, step on second base for the force out and throw to first to get the inning-ending double play. In the A's next at-bat, Moss hit the game-tying home run. Plus, Jaso's errant throw on Balfour's wild pitch strikeout of Zunino was a game-turner.

Attendance
On an overcast day with the roof closed at Safeco Field, the Mariners announced a crowd of 22,813.

Up next
Tommy Milone (6-7, 3.98 ERA) is scheduled to open the A's interleague series against Cincinnati on Tuesday at the O.co Coliseum. The left-hander has never faced the Reds in his career, though Milone is 3-0 with a 5.70 ERA in four career interleague starts. He has lost his last two outings but is 3-3 with a 2.48 ERA at home this season. Cincinnati right-hander Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 3.13) has faced the A's six times in his career, all starts, and is 3-1 with a 3.96 ERA.

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