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Game #29: Triggs Surrenders Four Runs, A’s Collect Four Hits, Lose

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

On the same night that Rickey Henderson, in 1991, stole his 939th base of his storied career, the greatest of all-time in baseball, the A’s took on Felix Hernandez for the 939th time, in what was a typical hard-fought game versus the Seattle Mariners. Unfortunately, the A’s weren’t able to complete a late-inning comeback effort and lost by a score of 6-3.

**Click Here to Revisit the Game Thread**

Felix Hernandez has been an unstoppable force against the A’s for forty-eight starts over his esteemed fourteen year career, and so getting to him early would be necessary for the A’s to have any chance of victory. Fortunately, batting third, Jed Lowrie continued his torrid start to the year by blasting a first inning home run to give the A’s an early lead:

Whoops, silly me! That was from a few weeks earlier. THIS is from tonight:

Lowrie had the A’s off to an early lead, and with Triggs on the mound, leads have generally been safe. Tonight, Triggs’ patented extreme side-to-side movement was in full force, as he had a potent Mariners’ offense constantly swinging through pitches and chasing balls out of the zone. Unfortunately, Triggs’ extreme movement also wound up being costly, as the sidewinder missed his spots with regularity, and let far too many pitches float right into the heart of the plate.

Triggs danced around a blast from Robinson Cano that would have left the yard had it not been hit to the deepest part of the outfield, but wouldn’t be so lucky again in the second. Kyle Seager led off the inning with a ground rule double launched to right-center, and Mike Zunino quickly followed that with a line drive double to left field to drive him in and tie the game up in an instant.

From there, each pitcher settled into a groove, and baserunners were temporarily at a premium. Hernandez settled into his usual comfortable groove versus the A’s, and the A’s at-bats became increasingly pressing and ineffective. Triggs still had to battle his control, but whatever problems he got himself into, he was able to get key strikeouts to get himself out. The game remained tied at 1-1 until the fifth.

An infield single and walk to Gordon and Segura had Triggs in hot water quickly, with Cano and Cruz due up. Cano, looking to make up for his near-miss in the first inning, nearly untied the game.

For a moment, Triggs looked like he could thread the needle once more. The very next pitch Triggs threw landed in the seats.

It was right down the middle, like far too many of his offerings tonight. After muddling around for a few more batters, Triggs’ final line was 4.2 innings pitched, four strikeouts, three walks, six hits, and four runs allowed. He induced a fair share of swings and misses, but when Seattle made contact, that contact was hard, and the A’s should consider themselves lucky several more runs weren’t on the board.

Down 5-1 in the seventh, the A’s finally started to break through against a tiring King Felix. Khris Davis walked and Matt Olson doubled to put two runners in scoring position with no outs, and Hernandez was relieved in favor of Nick Vincent, one of the lone ineffective Mariners’ relievers on the year. Mark Canha, donning his mask once again, brought the A’s one closer.

A Pinder RBI groundout made it 5-3. The A’s couldn’t push across any more runs in the inning.

A couple of well-placed singles led to Lou Trivino’s first run allowed out of the bullpen in his relief of Triggs, and Daniel Coulombe gave up a run after trying to be stretched into a second inning of work, and while it could have been more sharp, the A’s bullpen still kept the A’s in the game.

Unfortunately, the back-end of the Mariners’ bullpen is nearly untouchable. The A’s went down 1-2-3 in the eighth inning with two strikeouts. In the ninth, they had to face Edwin Diaz, who, in fourteen innings coming into tonight’s ballgame, had twenty seven strikeouts and allowed just two hits.

The offense performed better than most against Diaz, with Olson and Canha each working walks to bring the tying run to the plate. However, two strikeouts and an infield pop up assured that the comeback was not in the cards tonight, and the A’s lost 5-3.

It’s hard to win games when the offense collectively gets fewer hits than Dee Gordon got by himself. To be fair, while the zone certainly cost the A’s a run or two on offense, it wasn’t doing many favors for the Mariners, either.

The A’s get to try again tomorrow, as blast-to-the-past Brett Anderson suits up in an A’s uniform once more to face James Paxton.