SEATTLE -- The A's bullpen faltered badly on Friday night, yielding five runs to the Mariners in a critical seventh inning that saw a one-run lead morph into an ugly deficit.Right-hander Chris Hatcher was in the middle of the mayhem at Safeco Field, serving up a pair of home runs
SEATTLE -- The A's bullpen faltered badly on Friday night, yielding five runs to the Mariners in a critical seventh inning that saw a one-run lead morph into an ugly deficit.
Right-hander Chris Hatcher was in the middle of the mayhem at Safeco Field, serving up a pair of home runs that left the A's on the wrong end of a 7-4 series-opening affair and spoiled a two-homer night by Khris Davis.
"We feel good with the guys we're bringing in the game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We just couldn't close it out."
The inning started innocently enough. Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, carrying a 3-2 lead, induced a ground-ball out from Andrew Romine. Speedy leadoff man Dee Gordon attempted to reach on a bunt but was denied on a terrific play by third baseman Matt Chapman for the second out. Then the wheels came off.
Jean Segura singled off Petit, forcing Melvin to turn to Danny Coulombe for a left-on-left matchup with Robinson Cano that ended in a walk. In came Hatcher, who was struck for a three-run homer off the bat of Mitch Haniger. Kyle Seager kept at it with a single, and Daniel Vogelbach followed with a two-run homer.
Hatcher, who was credited with each of the A's first two wins, has allowed runs in three of his six outings, giving up a combined seven runs over two innings in those games for a 13.50 ERA.
He had Haniger at 2-2, engaged catcher Jonathan Lucroy in a mound visit to change signs and could only watch as a cutter traveled 397 feet to left field seconds later.
"Backed up a cutter," Hatcher said. "Ran down and in on him. Every cutter I threw him kind of backed up on him. I gotta be more aggressive. That's his nitro zone, and he hit it pretty good."
Davis responded with a leadoff homer in the eighth for his second of the night and third in two games, but his doings couldn't save these 5-9 A's, who have yet to win back-to-back games this season. Davis' first homer came in the first, a two-run blast off Mariners starter Mike Leake, who was also responsible for Chapman's team-leading fifth homer in the sixth.
A's starter Andrew Triggs surrendered four straight hits in the opening frame, including RBI knocks to Haniger and Seager, but he settled down to keep the A's afloat. The right-hander worked five innings, yielding just one hit over his final four.
"I looked up and saw my pitch count and went back out and was just attacking a little bit better with all of my pitches and settled in a bit better," Triggs said.
Triggs has worked five innings in each of his three starts while holding opponents to two runs or fewer.
Right-hander Liam Hendriks suffered a right groin strain while pitching in the eighth inning, Melvin revealed after the game. Hendriks faced just one batter, allowing a base hit to Guillermo Heredia, before he drew a visit from Melvin and a team trainer. The meeting was brief, and Hendriks walked gingerly off the field. He's expected to go on the disabled list Saturday, making room for the soon-to-be activated Ryan Dull.
Chapman not only homered but notched a single in the fourth, giving him eight multihit games this season. The Angels' Jose Pujols is the only other American League player with as many.
HE SAID IT
"Not a surprise. When he gets a couple hits, then he's off to the races. It's impressive. Hit balls here out when it's cold to right and center field, not too many guys in the league do that." -- Melvin, on Davis, who recorded his 16th career multi-homer game
The A's hope right-hander Kendall Graveman can find his groove in a 6:10 p.m. PT start against the host Mariners on Saturday. Oakland's Opening Day starter has allowed at least four runs while going no more than five innings in each of his first three starts. Seattle will counter with left-hander Marco Gonzales (1-1, 7.27 ERA).
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.