Mariner rallies bury A’s to end homestand

Three home runs weren’t enough as the Oakland Athletics suffered their second-consecutive loss to the Seattle Mariners, falling 8-4 on Sunday afternoon.

The A’s (52-66) relied solely on the long ball, while the Mariners (61-54) pieced together two crooked-number rallies, getting contributions from all nine spots in the lineup. Taking the loss was Zach Neal, who allowed five runs in 5-1/3. Wade LeBlanc (W, 2-0, 4.68 ERA) earned the win with six innings of three-run ball.

The biggest blow for the green and gold came in the form of a two-run home run from Khris Davis, it was No. 30 on the season from “Khrush.” He is the first Athletic to reach the mark since Brandon Moss in 2013, and is on pace for 41 on the season.

This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the A’s clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum.

Manager Bob Melvin said that while his left fielder views it as “not a big deal,” it is a “nice round number”:

“At the point where he is in his career, and obviously there’s a lot of games left to get significantly past that, it’s a feather in his cap.”

Said Davis, who has now hit 50 homers in the past 162 games:

“It’s just a number. Most importantly, I’m healthy and helping the team win by doing something.”

Davis, who went deep in each of the three games of the series, did not help his team win on Sunday, however.

Neal (L,2-2, 5.19 ERA) took his second stab at the Mariners, against whom he was romped for seven runs over four innings in his first career start. Issuing much of the damage on May 25 was first baseman Adam Lind, who finished that game with four hits after going 2-for-2 with a pair of home runs and seven RBIs against the Oakland starter.

The hurler was able to get Lind out on Sunday, but only after giving up a mammoth blast (17) into the second deck in right field to open the scoring in the second.

Photos by Jeffery Bennett/SFBay

Of the 1-2 fastball Lind deposited into the seats, Neal said:

“His swing before, I had him beat up and in. I tried to go even further and left it a little more middle that I wanted to, and I think he was kinda sitting on it.”

The Mariners tacked on two more attacking early in the count in the third.

With one down and Shawn O’Malley at second, following a first-pitch double, All-Star sluggers Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano connected on consecutive pitches collecting a line-drive double and single respectively.

Seager finished 2-for-5, adding three more RBIs in the sixth, driving a bases-loaded double into the gap in right-center. The third baseman was one of three Mariners to post a multi-hit game — O’Malley (2-for-3) and Nori Aoki (3-for-5) — while all but one added a single knock. Dae-ho Lee was the only Seattle hitter held without, though he did score a run.

Oakland also received solo homers from Ryon Healy (5) and Brett Eibner (5).

The replay-review system was on full display, with each team benefiting from an overturned call. Seattle made greater use of their accepted challenge of the “neighborhood play” at second, though, scoring their fourth run in the fourth after having what had been ruled an inning-ending double play reversed.

The skipper said that the momentum was only adversely affected by the call because of the O’Malley RBI single:

“It’s not a big shift, unless he gets a hit, and he got a hit. Now, all of a sudden, there’s a run on the board that wasn’t there.”

The M’s scored their final three runs on reliever Daniel Coulombe (1-1, 4.99 ERA), who tossed 2-2/3 innings.

The A’s now hit the road for a six-game trip through Texas and the South Side of Chicago, with Neal being the only starter scheduled to make two starts.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.