Looking to end a six-game skid and avoid a series sweep, the Oakland Athletics turned to their league leading ninth rookie pitcher for a reversal of fortune against their division rival. After being called up from AAA affiliate Las Vegas, rookie Joey Estes took the mound for the Oakland Athletics in their series finale against the Seattle Mariners.
Estes retired the first two batters he faced, then with two outs, Mariner’s catcher Cal Raleigh hit a double to extend the inning. Teoscar Hernandez reached base on an E5 fielding error by third baseman Jordan Diaz. With runners on the corner, Estes was able to get the third out when Eugenio Suarez flied out to Tony Kemp to end the inning.
Zack Gelof got things going with a one out single to start the inning. After an overturned call on Gelofs steal of second, Oakland had a runner on but the heart of the lineup was unable to capitalize and put any runs on the board. This would be a recurring theme throughout most of the game.
In the top of the second inning, Jordan Diaz committed his second error of the game and Ty France benefitted with an easy single. With a runner on, Dominic Canzone hit a two-run homer that put the Mariners ahead 2-0.
Estes started off the third by hitting Julio Rodriguez. With a runner on, Teoscar Hernandez hit a single that moved Rodriguez ninety feet and within striking distance. With two outs and the bases loaded, Estes got himself out of a jam when Ty France flied out to Tony Kemp.
The first three innings were dominated by Seattle starter George Kirby. The Oakland lineup had no answer for the Mariners starter.
Gelof got on the A’s on the board with a solo homer to start the top of the fourth. Cleanup hitter Seth Brown hit a single to right field but was left stranded after Brent Rooker struck out and Jordan Diaz grounded out to end the inning.
The top of the fifth inning is where Oakland rookie Joey Estes really struggled. The righty gave up back-to-back solo homers to Julio Rodriguez and Cal Raleigh which extended the Seattle lead. After hitting Ty France, manager Mark Kotsay replaced Estes with long reliever Adrian Martinez and the right-hander served up a two-run double that extended the Seattle lead to 6-1.
Adrian Martinez came back strong in the top of the sixth, striking out the side and doing his part to keep Seattle off the board.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Gelof singled to put a runner on base for Oakland, and Seth Brown moved him over with a single of his own. The A’s cut into the Seattle lead when Rooker hit his 27th home run of the year, a 2-run jack:
On this episode of Rooker Rakes pic.twitter.com/hxepg4yCrp— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 20, 2023
The ninth inning resembled much of the previous innings as Oakland hitters failed to put a bat on the ball. With two outs, Tyler Soderstrom drew a walk to put a runner on base, but Kevin Smith ended the game with a strikeout.
The debut of RHP Joey Estes had mixed results. The rookie proved that the stage wasn’t too big and that he has the stuff to compete. He had a few mistakes that put Seattle runs on the board, but those were to be expected. The silver lining was that the rookie picked up his first and second career MLB strikeouts.
Oakland reliever Adrian Martinez looked solid in his two-innings of work. He was definitely in the zone and could have gone an extra inning. His four strikeouts led the pitching staff.
The biggest issue today was the A’s inability to come up with timely hits with runners in scoring position. Both Seattle and Oakland collected eight hits, but the biggest difference was Seattle capitalizing with runners in scoring position.
The Oakland A’s now have lost seven in a row and look to turn things around against the Detroit Tigers in their final four home games of the season. Oakland right-hander Luis Medina is the probable pitcher against the Tigers while Detroit has yet to announce their starter. Let’s finish the season on a good note, fellas!