The Oakland A’s have struggled against the division rival Seattle Mariners this season, and that continued on Monday in the opener of a new series at the Coliseum.
The A’s went quietly in a 4-2 loss to the Mariners, snapping a five-game winning streak during a tight postseason race. Seattle has won nine of 13 meetings between the two clubs, and eight of those nine victories came by just one or two runs.
Oakland’s lineup has been hot in September, ranking fourth in the majors in scoring, but tonight they didn’t get much going. Mariners starter Tyler Anderson shut them down for seven innings, and they got one run against Seattle’s bullpen but couldn’t extend it into a larger comeback. The A’s only notched seven hits, five of them singles.
Meanwhile, Oakland starter Sean Manaea wasn’t able to keep pace with Anderson on the scoreboard. A long rally in the 3rd inning produced three runs on four hits, and another couple sharp hits in the 4th plated another run.
- Manaea: 5 ip, 4 runs, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 8 hits, 86 pitches, 89.6 mph EV
In two previous appearances against the Mariners this summer, Manaea had allowed just one run in 16 innings combined, but the magic didn’t continue this evening with a bit too much hard contact.
The A’s bullpen held on from there, tossing four scoreless frames to buy time for a comeback. Domingo Acevedo threw two of those innings, while Sam Moll and Deolis Guerra each chipped in one.
But the comeback never arrived. Oakland’s first run came in the 3rd inning, off Anderson, when Chad Pinder doubled to lead off and then Khris Davis doubled him in. Instead of building on the opportunity, the next three batters went down on three straight pitches — a sac bunt for some reason, then a popout, then a groundout.
Once Anderson was out of the game, the A’s pounced on Seattle reliever Diego Castillo. In the 8th inning, three straight singles by Elvis Andrus, Josh Harrison, and Starling Marte resulted in one run and a promising rally.
Unfortunately, nothing more came of it. Reliever Paul Sewald entered and struck out both Matts to end the threat, then he retired the side in order in the 9th.
Marte drives in Andrus to cut into the Mariners' lead pic.twitter.com/NAsywYRNEm— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 21, 2021
On the bright side, at least Oakland didn’t blow a save?
Time slipping away
The Toronto Blue Jays lost today too, so the A’s didn’t fall behind any further in the race for the Second Wild Card spot — two back with a dozen to go. But they also missed a chance to gain a game on the Jays, while letting the Mariners themselves begin to creep back in. Half the remaining schedule is against Seattle, and every victory is critical, so Oakland is going to have to figure out the Mariners sooner than later.
Tonight's attendance: 4,068 - lowest of the season since Coliseum opened up to full capacity on June 29.— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) September 21, 2021