OAKLAND -- Daniel Gossett was phenomenal in his return to the big leagues, holding the Mariners to one unearned run over a career-high-tying seven innings at the Coliseum on Wednesday night.Yet the A's right-hander still took the loss, as his teammates mustered only two hits over seven innings in an
OAKLAND -- Daniel Gossett was phenomenal in his return to the big leagues, holding the Mariners to one unearned run over a career-high-tying seven innings at the Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Yet the A's right-hander still took the loss, as his teammates mustered only two hits over seven innings in an uninspiring performance against Seattle lefty Marco Gonzales -- both coming from Jed Lowrie, who played his 1,000th career game. Oakland finished with three hits in the 1-0 loss.
It was the A's second loss in a row, and it continued an ugly trend: they have plated two or fewer runs in seven straight home games, and they must attempt to find a way out of this rut without slugger Khris Davis, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a right groin strain.
"For whatever reason, we're just not swinging the bats real well right now. It's probably too early to tell as far as the K.D. effect, with him not in there," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "But I don't have an answer for you."
Davis' absence has been magnified in this series. The rest of the A's hitters have done little at the plate, spoiling a pair of solid pitching efforts from Trevor Cahill and Gossett.
Aided by a pair of highlight-reel plays from right fielder Stephen Piscotty, Gossett picked up where he left off with Triple-A Nashville -- he had a 1.63 ERA with the Sounds in seven games (five starts) -- and limited Seattle to four hits in his first Major League start since April 6.
Gossett struck out five and walked one in the 104-pitch outing, completing seven innings for just the third time in 21 big league starts, a big boost for an A's club readying to pitch a bullpen game in Thursday's series finale.
"That's about as confident as we've seen him pitch," Melvin said. "Velo was there, used all his pitches, kept them off-balance, really good. Best we've seen him."
Gossett came equipped with an improved mental approach and a modified delivery, allowing him to stay on his back side longer to ensure consistent velocity and command. It's been a recipe for success for the 25-year-old, who could be tasked with several more starts for an injury-depleted A's rotation.
"I was excited to get back," Gossett said. "I was a little nervous, to be honest, but I made a few adjustments in Nashville, mentally and physically, and I'm really confident in those adjustments, so I just stuck with that and tried to stay aggressive all night."
The Mariners scored the lone run in the fourth inning with help from A's shortstop Marcus Semien, who fumbled a sharp grounder off the bat of Kyle Seager while playing in, allowing Guillermo Heredia to come home without a throw.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
A's can't rally late: With one out in the eighth, Matt Joyce notched a pinch-hit single against right-hander Juan Nicasio, giving the A's only their fifth baserunner of the game. But it was promptly wiped away when pinch-runner Dustin Fowler was caught stealing second on a perfect throw from Zunino behind the plate. The A's only had one runner advance past second.
DULL NAILED BY LINER
Right-hander Ryan Dull took a line drive off his glove hand in the eighth and was in visible pain shaking his fingers. He finished the inning and underwent X-rays on his left hand, which were negative.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Piscotty robbed Zunino of a home run in the third with a leaping grab at the right-field wall. He also saved a run in the seventh with a diving catch on John Andreoli's sinking line drive, keeping Ben Gamel at second base.
"When you're doing nothing offensively, you're trying to find some reason to try to create some momentum, and certainly the one where he robs the homer is one, and then another nice play coming in," Melvin said. "We just didn't do anything offensively, unfortunately. Couldn't put any pressure on them and really didn't hit a ball hard until Jed's second hit."
HE SAID IT
"If you don't have anything to be confident about, fake it. You have to be confident on the mound and be aggressive and challenging hitters." -- Gossett, on his successful return to the big leagues
The A's will piece together several relievers to get through Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Mariners at 12:35 p.m. PT, beginning with Josh Lucas. The right-hander, who tossed 3 2/3 innings in Toronto last Friday, will be asked to throw no more than 50 pitches in his first career start.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.