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Jackson solid, but A's bats stymied by Giants

Right-hander allows three runs in 6 1/3 innings; Canha's sac fly provides sole run
MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Friday night marked the first sellout of the season at the Coliseum, with 45,606 in attendance on a fireworks night, but the A's didn't provide much of a spark on the field to kick off the second half, falling 5-1 to the Giants.

With the Mariners beating the White Sox, the A's are four games behind Seattle for the second American League Wild Card spot.

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OAKLAND -- Friday night marked the first sellout of the season at the Coliseum, with 45,606 in attendance on a fireworks night, but the A's didn't provide much of a spark on the field to kick off the second half, falling 5-1 to the Giants.

With the Mariners beating the White Sox, the A's are four games behind Seattle for the second American League Wild Card spot.

View Full Game Coverage

The A's, who lead the Majors in runs scored in the eighth and ninth innings, were kept off the board for the last seven frames and wasted a quality start by Edwin Jackson. Jackson lasted 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits and striking out six. But each of the four hits did damage, as the veteran allowed three runs in a start for the first time in an A's uniform.

"Games like that, it's a matter of mistakes," Jackson said. "You keep us close in a game like this, we'll make do of the situation and have a chance to come back."

Video: SF@OAK: Jackson sets down McCutchen looking

But there was no comeback on this night. Offensively, the A's were stymied for much of the evening by Giants rookie starter Dereck Rodriguez, who made his first career start against an American League opponent. Rodriguez also went 6 1/3 frames, but the A's only managed a run on three hits.

"[Rodriguez] was terrific," manager Bob Melvin said. "Looking at a lot of video of him today, he's got a good fastball but is able to throw all three of his other pitches for strikes, too, and can do it early in the count and behind in the count."

Oakland struck first in the second inning when Khris Davis led off the inning with a double and Mark Canha drove him in on a sacrifice fly, but then Rodriguez settled down. He retired 11 straight batters after Dustin Fowler singled in the second, receiving help from right fielder Andrew McCutchen, who took away a couple of hits with sliding catches.

Video: SF@OAK: Canha plates Davis on sacrifice fly

Jackson didn't allow a hit through the first three innings, but Buster Posey tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth with a soft single to center after McCutchen led off the inning with a double. Jackson then gave up two solo home runs: Ryder Jones hit one off the right field foul pole in the fifth and Pablo Sandoval drilled a no-doubter to right in the seventh to give the Giants a 3-1 lead.

Both the home runs came on 2-0 counts, and Jackson lamented putting himself in those hitters counts. He threw a cutter to Jones that didn't cut. And the pitch to Sandoval was supposed to be a fastball down and away, but wound up right down the middle.

Video: SF@OAK: Jones drives a solo homer off the foul pole

"It's not necessarily the home runs that bothered me," he said. "It was mostly the counts, the execution."

The bullpen gave up two more runs in the eighth, as the A's needed five relievers to get through the remaining 3 2/3 innings after Jackson's departure.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
On a night when runners in scoring position were rare, the A's put two runners on with base with two out in the eighth, but Davis flied out to right to end the threat.

SOUND SMART
Stephen Piscotty doubled in the sixth inning to extend his hit streak to 10 games, the second-longest streak of his career. He also owns the second-longest active streak in the American League (the Astros' Yuli Gurriel has a hit in 13 straight games).

HE SAID IT
"If we score some runs, we're talking about how good of a game [Jackson] pitched. Really, two mistakes. He's pitched really well every time out, we just haven't scored him some runs here recently." -- Melvin, on Jackson's performance

UP NEXT
A's right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-2, 3.10 ERA) will face off against Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner (3-3, 2.90) in Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT matchup at the Coliseum. Cahill will be making his second start since returning from the DL; the veteran pitcher allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings in Houston on July 12.

Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.

Oakland Athletics