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A’s let late lead slip away in 5-4 loss to Mariners

Late game pitching collapse spoils a good outing by Zach Neal

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics put up a good fight, but saw a late lead slip away late in a 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

The A’s jumped out to an early lead against Seattle right-hander Bryce Miller. Jordan Diaz singled to start the second inning. After a strikeout of Carlos Perez, Lawrence Butler put one in the seats to put Oakland in front 2-0.

Aledmys Diaz struck out for the second out, but Esteury Ruiz followed with a single to right. He stole second and then advanced to third on an errant throw by catcher Cal Raleigh. Ryan Noda brought him home with a double to the gap to push the advantage to 3-0.

Zach Neal got off to a great start and allowed a single in the first and a walk in the second, but was able to escape with no damage. Things got sideways though in the third. Neal struck out Josh Rojas and J.P. Crawford to start the inning, but then walked Eugenio Suarez. Raleigh then doubled to put runners at second and third before Teoscar Hernandez sent a homer out to left to tie the game 3-3.

The A’s threatened again in the fourth as Perez and Butler began the inning with back-to-back singles. However, Aledmys Diaz grounded into a 5-4 double play and Ruiz lined out to end the threat.

Neal settled in from there and retired the next seven hitters in a row. He would exit after the sixth having allowed three hits, two walks and three runs. He struck out six while throwing 83 pitches.

Lucas Erceg took over on the mound and worked a scoreless sixth and the A’s retook the lead in the seventh. Aledmys Diaz doubled with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Nick Allen. Ruiz Brough him home with a double to left to put Oakland back in front 4-3.

Ruiz stole third for his 53rd stolen base of the season, however he was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a fly out by Noda to end the inning.

Kirby Snead replaced Erceg in the seventh and found himself in quick trouble. Dominic Canzone doubled to begin the inning and then moved to third on a single by Mike Ford. Dylan Moore worked a walk to load the bases. Snead struck out Rojas, but Crawford singled to left to bring home two and put Seattle back in front 5-4. Dany Jimenez replaced Snead and retired the next two hitters to keep it a one-run game going to the eighth.

The A’s got the tying run into scoring position in the eighth as Brent Rooker walked and then moved to second on a wild pitch. He moved to third on a ground out by Seth Brown, but Tony Kemp struck out to leave him stranded.

Spencer Patton retired the side in order for Oakland in the eighth, but Andres Munoz closed things out in the ninth to end the game.

The A’s drop the series and wrap up their road trip with a 3-4 record. They will enjoy an off day Thursday before returning home to begin a six-game homestand with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels Friday.