Melvin on energy level, health day after 18-inning game
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino tags Nate Freiman as he reaches for the plate in the second inning on Friday. (AP)
OAKLAND -- The A's played 18 innings on Thursday. Seattle was off.
So yeah, the Mariners should have had an advantage. And they did, in a 3-2 Seattle victory that ended the A's 11-game home winning streak.
The A's looked flat, and played like it. Given the day off from on-field batting practice and not having to be in the clubhouse until 5 p.m., the A's could not truly get going. Sure, they regained the services of power hitter Yoenis Cespedes (he went 0-for-4, though) but were without center fielder Coco Crisp (right heel) and third baseman Josh Donaldson (right hamstring).
Oakland had the tying run on first base with two out in the ninth inning, but Adam Rosales lined out right field to end the game as Oliver Perez picked up his first career save for Seattle.
The A's (41-28) remained two games ahead of Texas in the American League West.
Starting pitching report
It wasn't the sharpest, or most economical of starts for Tommy Milone, who labored through 6 2/3 innings and needed 113 pitches to do so. The left-hander absorbed the loss to fall to 6-6 despite giving up two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. The dispiriting blow was a solo home run by Mike Zunino, which was almost robbed by Chris Young in dead center. Instead, it was Zunino's first career homer, and it gave Seattle a 2-1 lead.
A taxed bullpen needed a blow, and the newest member of the staff, right-hander Dan Otero, went 1 1/3 innings, surrendering a run on three hits. Lefty Sean Doolittle authored a scoreless ninth, giving up two hits.
At the plate
Have a day, Chris Young. Batting leadoff for the first time for the A's, Young responded with a single, a double, an intentional walk and a monster solo home run to left, his sixth of the season, in the eighth inning off Danny Farquhar to pull the A's within 3-2. Entering the game, Young was four for his previous 49 with one RBI over his previous 14 games. And a day after reaching base in all five plate appearances, Seth Smith was 0-for-4 with a hat trick.
In the field
It was a sharply-hit ball, no doubt, but one that coulda/woulda/shoulda been handled by first baseman Nate Freiman. Instead, Raul Ibanez's hot grounder with two out in the eighth bounded off Freiman and into foul territory, allowing Nick Franklin to score and give Seattle a 3-1 advantage.
The A's announced a crowd of 31,448 for the series opener against Seattle…and Superhero-themed Fireworks Night.
A.J. Griffin (5-5, 3.78 ERA) is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three career starts against the Mariners, including the A's 8-2 victory at the Coliseum on April 4, in which he went six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts. The right-hander, though, is 0-2 in his last three starts, despite an ERA of 3.60 and a .213 batting average by opponents in that stretch. Felix Hernandez (7-4, 2.49) has faced the A's 27 times in his career, going 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA overall, 7-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 14 starts in Oakland.