SEATTLE -- The A's weekend stay in Seattle has been less than glamorous, a summation of their season thus far.Saturday's 10-8 loss to the Mariners, coming on the heels of Friday's disastrous bullpen meltdown, showcased the club's biggest woes: Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman turned in his fourth subpar outing
SEATTLE -- The A's weekend stay in Seattle has been less than glamorous, a summation of their season thus far.
Saturday's 10-8 loss to the Mariners, coming on the heels of Friday's disastrous bullpen meltdown, showcased the club's biggest woes: Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman turned in his fourth subpar outing in as many tries, leaving the offense scrambling to catch up while the defense and relief corps fumbled.
Oakland hitters kept at it in an impressive 10-hit display, getting homers from Mark Canha and Khris Davis -- his third of the series and fourth in three games -- in the seventh inning, and one from Stephen Piscotty in the eighth. But the Mariners proved relentless, and the A's, who committed three errors, fell just short to drop to 5-10. The loss means they will be without a series win in their first five attempts for the first time since 1998.
"We keep coming back, and we're scoring runs," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Similar to last night, we just can't hold them down. We're going to have to get some performances where we can holding them down some and hope our offense keeps swinging the bat the way it has been."
Graveman's sample size no longer small, his struggles are concerning. The right-hander was struck for five runs and eight hits, including a three-run homer to Jean Segura in the second, and went just four innings. He's allowed at least four runs in each of his outings, and 19 total through 17 1/3 innings for a 9.87 ERA.
"Just gotta figure it out," Melvin said. "He's important to us. He will."
The sinkerballer has been susceptible to the long ball, yielding six in that span, whereas last year he held opponents to 12 across 105 1/3 innings.
"I made some mechanical adjustments. I think you started to see some of the sink," Graveman said, "just not consistent as it needed to repeat the delivery. Just continue to focus on location and keep grinding. I don't know what else to say. Just keep working and keep my head down. I will get it figured out. That's not a question in my mind. I think for me, just staying really positive. I've had success in this league before. Going through a rough patch here. But at the same time, no excuses. I gotta continue to get better."
The A's tied the game on RBI hits from Canha and Jed Lowrie in the third, but Graveman gave two runs right back on three straight hits to open the bottom portion of the inning, including a Mitch Haniger two-run single.
Haniger was at it again in the fifth, homering off lefty Danny Coulombe in a three-run inning that featured a costly error by shortstop Marcus Semien for an 8-4 lead. Right-hander Emilio Pagan endured no better luck against his former team, allowing a home run to Kyle Seager in the sixth and another to Daniel Vogelbach in the seventh.
A's relievers have offered up an American League-worst 11 home runs in 55 innings.
"I think it can get contagious," Melvin said. "Pass it on to the next guy, and there's a little more pressure on the next guy to keep hold them down. I think it's a little bit of an issue right now."
Davis' homer was his 17th against the Mariners since 2016, most by any player during that span. Four of his last 19 at-bats have ended in a home run.
HE SAID IT
"I think we're putting up enough runs to win, and this game falls solely on me. There's no reason I shouldn't go deeper in that ballgame with less runs scored. When you score eight, it really hurts our guys here in the clubhouse. That's something that I've gotta be better at is when we do put up a lot of runs, I've gotta be able to hold our team in the ballgame, continue to fight, and get deeper into ballgames to save some bullpen arms too." -- Graveman
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The A's were stung by a Seattle challenge in the fourth inning. Matt Joyce was initially ruled safe on the back end of a double-play ball that brought in the tying run, but replay officials determined Joyce was out, overruling the call and taking away the run to end the inning.
The A's and Mariners will reconvene at Safeco Field for a 1:10 p.m. PT matinee on Sunday. Left-hander Sean Manaea toes the rubber for Oakland, in opposition of Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Jackie Robinson Day. Players from all clubs will sport Robinson's No. 42 in celebration.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.