A's, Backstop Ad Fail To Work Against Mariners

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 07: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners slides under the tag of Brandon Hicks #18 of the Oakland Athletics to steal second base in the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum on July 7, 2012 in Oakland, California. Suzuki scored later in the inning. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Ouch.

There really wasn't much to recap in this game. The A's were going for so much: a sixth straight win, and most importantly a winning record before the All-Star break.

They accomplished neither in a 7-1 yawnfest loss to Seattle.

Jarrod Parker, who has been a bright spot this season, picked an inopportune time to have an off night. Parker lasted just 4.2 innings, allowing 5 earned runs. He did strike out six, though.

"We're so used to seeing him go out there, throwing zeros," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters after the game. "I thought his actual stuff was pretty good. His pitch count got up there rather quickly."

His counterpart on the mound, the largely average Jason Vargas, did not have any of the same problems. Vargas cruised through the A's lineup, going the distance in 107 pitches. He allowed just one run — a Josh Reddick bomb in the first inning — and struck out six Oakland batsmen in the win.

Reddick provided pretty much the only spark, not only with a home run, but with a Byrnesian catch to rob Ichiro of a hit. The home run was his 20th. Am I wrong for hoping that Curtis Granderson simply drops out of the All-Star Game citing a deep-seated fear of barbeque scent, so Reddick can go to Kansas City?

However, after Parker's departure in the fifth, the game got pretty boring. The only excitement of the latter innings happened in the bottom of the 7th when the game was delayed for about 10 minutes as the backstop ad malfunctioned, showing a "Round" and a white background where "Table" should be.

The A's will try to get back to .500 tomorrow. Bartolo Colon vs. Felix Hernandez at 1:05 p.m.

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