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Three A’s home runs finally defeat Mariners without Khris Davis

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Back-to-back homers from Matt Olson and Mark Canha helped the Oakland A’s get their first victory of the season 6-2 against the Seattle Mariners Friday night.

The A’s, now 1-4 against the Mariners in 2019, scored five runs off three homers and are on a seven game win-streak.

Olson’s three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth provided the winning runs. Wade LeBlanc had kept the A’s (26-25) scoreless up until Olson stepped up to the plate. Marcus Semien lead off the fourth inning with a walk, which was the only walk LeBlanc gave up in the five innings he pitched.

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

With two outs, Stephen Piscotty hit a base-hit just over shortstop J.P Crawford’s head into left field, which sent Semien to second. Olson smashed the first pitch, a 73-mph curve ball, into right-center for his fifth-career first-pitch home run to bring in three runs.

Canha, stepping in as designated hitter for Khris Davis, who moved onto the injured list as of Friday, followed with a solo-homer deep into left field. The A’s have now had back-to-back homers three times this season.

Canha has enjoyed his time as a designated hitter and has done a great job filling in Davis’s role:

“I really like it… I like not having to run out on the field. It’s nice to just kind of hand out in the dugout and wait for my at-bat to happen.”

The Mariners first run came in the first inning. Daniel Mengden had a tough start but was able to last four innings, allowing only a single run alongside four hits and five walks.

Bob Melvin on Mengden’s pitching:

“Daniel threw a lot of pitches in four innings. It felt like more than one run. At the end of the day he ended up holding them off as scoring, but it just felt like a lot of pitches (99) on edge a little bit. And then Fly hit the home run it kind of loosened things up.”

Daniel Vogelbach walked after four straight balls, and with two outs, the bats started flowing and the Mariners (23-30) were just two batters away from batting around the order.

Omar Narvaez hit a base hit just over Matt Chapman’s head, and with runners on first and second, Domingo Santana hit a line drive deep into center field.

Vogelbach is not known for his speed. Laureano made the throw to home but Olson cut off the throw and it is unknown whether or not Vogelbach would have scored had the throw not been cut off.

Olson regrets cutting off Laureano’s throw, but luckily for Olson he was able to hit a home run, not making an impact on the outcome of the game:

“Ya, I probably should have let it go. I wasn’t sure if it was fully on line. I knew it was going to have to be right on the plate and Narvaez came around 2nd pretty hard, I don’t know if he did it on purpose because he got back pretty quick… I kinda bet on it and thought I could throw him out at second. I wish I would have let that one go.”

The Mariners didn’t score again until the seventh inning, when Santana hit a standing double deep into center field near the 400-foot mark. Laureano dumped up against the wall and his foot was able to keep the ball from bouncing off the wall and getting too far away from him.

Tim Beckham hit a line drive double to left that brought in Santana, making it 4-2 in the top of the seventh. That would be the Mariners last run of the night.

The A’s kept the bats flowing in the seventh and eighth innings. Laureano doubled in the seventh before Semien, with a full count and two outs, was walked. Semien ended up stealing second and Mariners catcher Navaez made an error on the throw, which brought in Laureano to make it 5-2.

In the eighth inning, Piscotty hit a solo home run to finalize the A’s 6-2 victory. The A’s are now above .500 and hope to continue their success, especially during these next 15 games against all AL West teams.

Twice Mengden was able to get out of bases-loaded, two-out situations and it happened again in the top of the ninth for third time. The A’s were able to get out of the innings, and Bob Melvin believes that is why the team was so successful tonight:

“That was the key to the game today, is not giving up the big hits when theres guy out there on bases. … They made big pitches when they had to, and we wouldn’t have won the game without that.”

On Deck

The A’s will start Mike Fiers (3-3, 5.05 ERA) against Mariners LHP Yusei Kikuchi (3-1, 3.43) on Saturday at 1:07 p.m. for the second game of the three game series. Josh Phegley will catch behind the plate for the next three games.

Notes

Matt Olson has five home runs in his last 11 games… Mark Canha had homered in three consecutive games for the first time in his career… Khris Davis is on 10-day injury list… Stephen Piscotty has reached base in 22 consecutive games.

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