A’s lose as Hernandez outduels Lester
O.CO COLISEUM — Jon Lester was acquired at the trade deadline to pitch in big-game situations. Wednesday’s matchup fit that bill — but without the results.
Lester took on Oakland nemesis Felix Hernandez, with the Seattle ace earning the 2-1 win with an effortless three-hit effort marred only by an Adam Dunn home run in the fourth inning.
This season, Hernandez (W, 14-5, 2.18 ERA, 8 IP, 3 hits, 1 earned) has had his way against Oakland, going 3-0 against the A’s to match a career record of 18-7 and ERA of 2.63 against the Athletics.
The A’s only boost came from the bat of newly acquired Adam Dunn when the lefty slugger belted a ball down the right field line to give the A’s a 1-0 lead.
Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay
The home run was Dunn’s second with Oakland, giving him four RBI in the Green and Gold. From a career standpoint, the homer breaks his tie on the all-time list with David Ortiz (461, 35th all-time) and moves him into a tie with former Athletic Jose Canseco (462, 34th).
Dunn said of Hernandez:
“He’s one of the best. If you don’t get him early, it’s going to be a long day.”
The afternoon crowd of 17,073 was feeling pretty good until the top of the seventh, when Kyle Seager hit a solo homer (22) on a 3-1 offering from Lester.
Designated hitter Corey Hart compounded the inning, ripping an 0-1 Lester pitch over the fence in left. Both shots were on Lester heaters.
Lester (L, 13-10, 2.54 ERA) went eight innings, giving up seven hits and just the two runs.
Lester said of his team’s performance:
“Sometimes you just get beat in a ballgame. A ball doesn’t fall your way, Dunn hit that home run with nobody on. It’s just little things.
“We’re having good at-bats, having good starts. That’s all you can do.”
Adam Dunn was asked about what he thinks the club’s anxiety level is. He replied immediately:
Melvin, Dunn, Lester and Vogt all said they will take the off day Thursday and get back at it on Friday against the Houston Astros.
The A’s stand five games back of the first-place Angels, with Los Angeles playing later Wednesday evening. Seattle is creeping up on Oakland in the wild card race, currently lurking just 3-1/2 games back.
The home run for Seager ties his career high of 22. … Stephen Vogt rolled his ankle sliding into second base in the fifth. He came out on defense in the sixth, but was pulled after the conclusion of the inning with a sprained left ankle. Vogt says he hopes to only miss a couple of days and play this weekend. He did his post-game interview in a walking boot. … The road win for Seattle gives them 39 on the season adding to their AL-leading total. The Dodgers lead the majors with a 43-28 record away from Chavez Ravine.