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A’s watch late lead slip away in 4-3 loss to Mets

Oakland took a 3-2 lead into the ninth, but were unable to hold on.

New York Mets v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Shea Langeliers put the Oakland Athletics in front in the eighth inning, but the bullpen was unable to hold it in a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets.

JP Sears allowed a leadoff single to Brandon Nimmo to start the game, but then retired Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor on fly outs and then struck out Pete Alonso to leave the runner stranded. Sears retired Mark Canha to start the second, but then allowed a solo home run to Tommy Pham to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Jeff McNeil followed with a single, but was erased as Eduardo Escobar bounced into a double play. Sears struck out Francisco Alvarez to end the inning.

Langeliers and Ryan Noda reached on singles in the two outs in the second, but Kevin Smith bounced into a force play to end the inning. Oakland got two more base runners in the third as Brent Rooker and Ramon Laureano both walked, but again couldn’t cash in as Jace Peterson grounded out.

The A’s finally broke through offensively in the fifth. Kevin Smith led off the inning with a single and then stole second base. Esteury Ruiz followed with a single to center scoring Smith to tie the game. The hit extended Ruiz’s hitting streak to seven-straight games.

Sears settled in after getting the double play grounder in the second and retired 13 straight hitters before Francisco Lindor took him deep with two outs in the sixth inning to put the Mets back in front 2-1.

Oakland had another chance in the sixth as Jace Peterson worked a lead off walk and then stole second. He advanced to third on a ground out by Aledmys Diaz. Shea Langeliers followed with a grounder to third, Peterson broke for the plate, but was thrown out trying to score. Naturally, Ryan Noda then singled to center, but Smith flew out to center to end the frame.

Richard Lovelady replaced Sears to start the seventh. Sears turned in one of the best performances by an A’s starter this season allowing four hits and two runs in six innings. Both of the runs came on solo home runs. Sears struck out three and didn’t walk a batter while throwing 88 pitches.

Lovelady had a nice debut recording striking out Canha and Jeff McNeil in a perfect seventh. He came back out for the eighth and allowed an infield single to Escobar and a walk to Nimmo, but got Starling Marte to ground into an inning-ending double play.

The A’s broke through again against Mets reliever John Curtiss in the eighth. Peterson worked a one-out walk and then moved up to second on a single by Diaz. Langeliers then drove one into the gap in left center scoring both to put Oakland in front 3-2.

Mark Kotsay turned to Dany Jimenez to try and close it out in the ninth. He got Lindor to ground out sharply to Diaz for the first out. However, Pete Alonso then jumped on a 2-1 fastball from Jimenez and drove it out to center for a game-tying home run. Jimenez then walked Canha who was then replaced by pinch-runner Tim Locastro. Locastro then swiped second, but Jimenez then issued back-to-back walks to Pham and McNeil.

With the bases loaded, Kotsay again turned to his bullpen summoning lefty Sam Moll who got Escobar to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to escape the jam.

Jimmy Yacabonis took over in the ninth for the Mets and immediately issued a four-pitch walk to Tony Kemp. Brent Rooker followed with a single to center to put the winning run in scoring position. Yacabonis came back and struck out Ramon Laureano for the first out and then Peterson lifted a soft fly to left center that Nimmo made a game-saving diving catch for the second out. Diaz then popped out to third to send the game to extra innings.

Moll came back out for the 10th and got Alvarez to fly out sharply to Laureano in right field for the first out. Escobar, who began the inning at second base, tagged up and moved to third on the play. With the go-ahead run at third, Moll fell behind Nimmo 2-0, but then came back for the strikeout. He was then replaced by Zach Jackson who walked Marte on four straight pitches and then bounced a 3-2 pitch that kicked away and into the dugout. Escobar scored to put the Mets back in front 4-3. Jackson followed with yet another walk to Alonso to load the bases. Jackson would escape though as Daniel Vogelbach grounded sharply to Diaz at second who threw to first in time to leave the bases full.

Tyler Wade came in to pinch-run for Diaz to start the home half of the 10th at second base. David Robertson came on to pitch for the Mets and hit Langeliers with his first pitch. Oakland then elected to play for the tie instead of going for a win as Noda bunted back to Robertson who threw to third in time to cut down the lead runner for the first out. With pinch-hitter Conner Capel at the plate, Robertson uncorked a wild pitch that allowed both runners to move into scoring position. Capel then grounded to Alonso at first who checked the runners and then tagged the bag for the second out. Ruiz then grounded out to third to end the game.

Oakland had plenty of chances to win, but the bullpen was unable to hold it. The decision to bunt in the 10th was pretty cowardly for a team that is now 3-13 on the season.

The home stand will continue Monday when they begin a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs.