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Game #126: A’s blow save for third straight game

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For goodness sake

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

For the third game in a row, the Oakland A’s had a lead entering the 8th inning but then blew the save and lost.

This time it was a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Mariners, at the Coliseum on Monday night.

*** Click here to revisit tonight’s Game Thread! ***

The story was the same as Saturday and Sunday. The A’s took an early lead, but weren’t able to build it up beyond a couple runs. The slim advantage looked like it might hold up, but at the last minute the bullpen faltered and the other team charged back to snatch the game away. At least the homer by the Mariners tonight wasn’t a pinch-hit blast like the previous two days.

Closer Lou Trivino has only blown four saves all season, and two of them have been in the last three days. Tonight was the fifth time’s he’s pitched in the past seven days.

How it happened, again, again

The A’s used both hustle and power to score early.

In the 1st, Mark Canha and Matt Olson both singled, then they pulled a double-steal to move into scoring position. That’s right, Olson stole a base! His fifth of the year! The aggressive play paid off, as Yan Gomes followed with a productive groundout to drive home Canha from third.

Gomes struck again in the 4th, this time with a solo homer.

On the other side of the ball, Paul Blackburn delivered his second straight solid outing. He kept the Mariners off the board for five innings, but in the 6th they finally got to him. A single, followed by a two-run homer by Mitch Haniger, tied the score.

  • Blackburn: 5⅔ ip, 2 runs, 5 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HR, 5 hits, 97 pitches, 89.8 mph EV

Heck of an effort from a pitcher who was DFA’d this spring and spent most of the year off the 40-man roster. He’s pitched twice since being called up, and kept the A’s in the game both times.

Oakland didn’t let it stay tied for long. In the bottom of the 6th, Matt Olson homered to retake the lead at 3-2. (It’s his 17th long ball against a lefty pitcher this year, a new Oakland record.)

Unfortunately this dinger came with a what-if. Batting before Olson was Starling Marte, who singled but then got thrown out trying to advance to second. It was exactly the kind of aggressive play we’ve come to love from Marte, trying to take advantage when the Mariners defender bobbled the ball, but this time it backfired. Olson homered on the next pitch.

Oakland got a leadoff double in the 7th but stranded him. Canha and Marte got on base in the 8th, but Olson grounded into a double play. Relievers Andrew Chafin and Sergio Romo held serve against Seattle’s lineup.

And then, the 9th inning went wrong. Lou Trivino came in to protect the 3-2 lead, and Ty France hit his third pitch for a homer to tie it up. Then a single, then a double. to put the go-ahead run on third. Trivino struck out the next two batters, and got two strikes on Jake Bauers, one pitch away from escaping without further damage. But Bauers lined a single for two RBI, and the collapse was complete.

Welp

Try again tomorrow.