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A's see tables turned in Bay Bridge opener

MLB.com @JaneMLB

SAN FRANCISCO -- The A's usual late-inning shenanigans were missing in Friday night's 7-1 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.

Instead, their neighbors mimicked them in the Bay Bridge Series opener, pouncing for five runs in a disastrous seventh inning after the A's squandered their own opportunity in the top half of the frame.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The A's usual late-inning shenanigans were missing in Friday night's 7-1 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.

Instead, their neighbors mimicked them in the Bay Bridge Series opener, pouncing for five runs in a disastrous seventh inning after the A's squandered their own opportunity in the top half of the frame.

View Full Game Coverage

With it went a chance to gain on the Mariners, who fell to the Rockies on Friday, in the American League Wild Card race. The A's remain five games back of their division foes after suffering just their sixth loss in their last 25 games.

Also lost, but hopefully not for long: second baseman Jed Lowrie, who exited the game in the fifth inning with a left leg bone bruise after colliding with right fielder Stephen Piscotty on a weak fly ball in the third. Lowrie is considered day to day.

Video: OAK@SF: Lowrie collides with Piscotty, leaves in 5th

Chad Pinder's 10th home run of the season, off lefty Madison Bumgarner in the fifth, was the A's lone highlight in this one. They had their chances for more, though, coming up empty with the bases loaded in the seventh.

The consequences proved two-fold: A's manager Bob Melvin, facing a 2-1 deficit, held back his premier bullpen arms thereafter.

"That was big," Melvin said. "That's kind of where the game swung. We're not going to use our plus guys unless we get to tied or ahead, so an opportunity for somebody else, but those are situations we've been coming through pretty well in here recently. Seventh and eighth inning, we've been pretty good."

Handcuffed by Bumgarner for much of the night, the A's sent him out of the game in the seventh after loading the bases, orchestrating a familiar scene. So accustomed to a comeback, their latest attempt following six innings of two-run ball from Edwin Jackson went awry.

Right-hander Reyes Moronta struck out Pinder, got an assist from third baseman Pablo Sandoval on a sharp liner off the bat of Jonathan Lucroy and induced an inning-ending ground ball from Nick Martini.

Video: OAK@SF: Moronta induces groundout, leaves bases full

"I can't strike out right there," Pinder said. "I got to make something happen, put it in play at least. So it's a shame that we didn't put across a run there, if not multiple, but the guy came in and did his job and pitched well."

A's right-hander Ryan Dull loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, and lefty Jeremy Bleich, summoned for his Major League debut in a tough spot, surrendered a two-run double to Steven Duggar and hit his next batter, Brandon Belt, in a short stint. Santiago Casilla was next in line, with three more runs coming in under his watch as the wheels came off.

Video: OAK@SF: Giants pad the lead with a 5-run 7th inning

"It's tough, but it's one of the reasons we got him here today," Melvin said of Bleich. "[Ryan] Buchter wasn't going to pitch today, and that was the spot for the lefties. No soft landing sometimes, and you got to come in and try to do the job. He got to two strikes, just didn't get his slider as far away as he would have liked to."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Giants struck first, but only because a blatant balk by Jackson brought in a run from third in the fourth inning.

"My front spike just caught the dirt," Jackson said. "It's a first. I guess when you play this long there's a first for a lot of different things, but that's the first time that I've had that happen where someone is on base and a run gets brought in. I've done it before. The other times I've done it, no one's been on. One time I threw a strike. I'm not sure how. One time I just held on to the ball."

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar comes home on balk for game's 1st run

SOUND SMART
Pinder's home run gave the A's seven players with at least 10 homers, tied with the Yankees for most in the American League.

Video: OAK@SF: Pinder launches a solo homer to left-center

HE SAID IT
"Those guys put some good at-bats together. Sometimes you just got to tip your hat, and I feel like that's one of those cases. I didn't give in, and they kept battling and it worked out their way." -- Bumgarner

UP NEXT
The A's will turn to lefty Brett Anderson (1-2, 5.75 ERA) in the middle matchup of this three-game set, scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT at AT&T Park on Saturday. Anderson, who will be facing the Giants for the first time since 2015, put together five scoreless innings against the Indians in his return from the disabled list Sunday. San Francisco will counter with former Athletic Jeff Samardzija, who is 1-5 with a 6.42 ERA.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Edwin Jackson, Chad Pinder