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Triggs struggles with command, stays positive

Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- A couple of streaks came to a crashing halt in Sunday's 11-1 loss by the A's to the Mariners.

Not only did the Mariners snap Oakland's five-game winning streak, but they became the first team to tag A's right-hander Andrew Triggs with an earned run this season. After Robinson Cano's one-out, first-inning RBI single, the Mariners blew the game open with five more runs against Triggs in the third, highlighted by Taylor Motter's grand slam.

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OAKLAND -- A couple of streaks came to a crashing halt in Sunday's 11-1 loss by the A's to the Mariners.

Not only did the Mariners snap Oakland's five-game winning streak, but they became the first team to tag A's right-hander Andrew Triggs with an earned run this season. After Robinson Cano's one-out, first-inning RBI single, the Mariners blew the game open with five more runs against Triggs in the third, highlighted by Taylor Motter's grand slam.

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Triggs said he struggled with his command all afternoon, especially with his cutter.

"It was definitely magnified in that inning," Triggs said of the third. "But I think throughout the day, I wasn't able to put the cutter where I wanted to. As opposed to the first three outings, where that was something that I really leaned on heavily."

Triggs entered the contest without giving up an earned run through three starts. Once Cano drove home leadoff man Jarrod Dyson, who was hit by a pitch to begin the game, Triggs' streak of innings without an earned run was squelched at 18, an Oakland record by a starting pitcher.

Triggs is second on the team with a 2.42 ERA behind Kendall Graveman (2.00), who is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. Triggs is tied for second on the team with 21 2/3 innings pitched.

The 28-year-old righty, who has made the most of his opportunity since earning the No. 4 rotation spot out of Spring Training, said he's not worried about command issues rolling into his next start.

Catcher Stephen Vogt said the A's have full confidence Triggs will bounce back.

"He's been huge," Vogt said. "This is not an indicator of what's to come for Triggs. I think the first three starts are more accurate as far as the way he's going to work this year. He's been very, very good, and today he lacked a little bit of command. We're not worried about him whatsoever."

It will be interesting to see how the A's handle Triggs and their rotation in the coming weeks. Ace Sonny Gray's return from a lat strain appears to be right around the corner, and Opening Day starter Graveman (shoulder) isn't too far from returning from the 10-day disabled list.

Oakland is high on young arms Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton, while Jesse Hahn has also had a strong start to the season, meaning there could be an odd man out when Gray and Graveman return.

After his 10th Major League start, Triggs said he's just focused on what he can control.

"I'm not really looking at it big-picture-wise, to be perfectly honest," he said. "I'm just trying to go outing-to-outing, batter-to-batter. You chalk up the days you need to improve upon, but overall, I've been pretty pleased with my pitches. Today, obviously, wasn't as happy."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based out of the Bay Area, and covered the Athletics on Sunday.

Oakland Athletics, Andrew Triggs