Friday, November 16th, 2018 am30 5:45am

A’s fall to Mariners, 4-3

Advertise Here $4.99/day

Instant Activation ─ Claim offer
HTML Code here

Advertise Here $4.99/day

Instant Activation ─ Claim offer
HTML Code here

OAKLAND — Kendall Graveman almost never throws cut fastballs on the first pitch of an at-bat. He did it twice Saturday, and Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano both bombed homers.

So it’s safe to say the Mariners’ 4-3 win over the A’s came as something of a surprise to the Oakland full house of 35,067.

Not, perhaps, as big a surprise as having the Coliseum sound system cut out midway through the new “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” trailer that was supposed to lead into the Star Wars fireworks Saturday night. Midway through, the trailer’s audio track vanished, leaving the fireworks on hold and leaving the crowd unhappier than the A’s 65th loss had.

Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners trots around the bases after he hit a two-run homer off of Kendall Graveman of the Oakland Athletics in the top of

Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners trots around the bases after he hit a two-run homer off of Kendall Graveman of the Oakland Athletics in the top of the fifth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The sound system ultimately did come back, although the trailer was delayed from the start of the fireworks show to the end. With Kenny Baker, who portrayed R2-D2, having died Saturday at 81, the fireworks were supposed to be dedicated in his honor, but the audio issues kept that from happening.

The homers were a surprise nonetheless. Must’ve been some kind of Jedi mind trick.

“I don’t throw many cutters on the first pitch,” Graveman said. “So I was a little bit surprised, yeah.”

Cruz’s homer tied the game at 1-all in the fifth. Cano’s came after an RBI single from Seth Smith had broken the tie. Cano put the Mariners up 4-1. Oakland scored a couple of runs in the sixth, but there would be no late-inning fireworks from the A’s.


Advertisement

A’s catcher Stephen Vogt was as perplexed as Graveman over the homers. Nothing Graveman had done suggested cutters were coming on the first pitch.

“It’s almost like they knew they were coming,” Vogt said, shaking his head at the thought of those two cutters disappearing into the night.

Graveman had allowed just one first-pitch homer in his first 22 starts. And other than those two swings, the Mariners didn’t do much against him.

The right-hander, now 8-8, came into the game with wins in six of his last seven decisions, and even with his home run troubles might have been able to keep his numbers headed north. But Oakland’s offense, resurgent as it has been in the last few days, left men at third base in the first, second, fourth and seventh innings, hardly the recipe for success.

Oakland DH Billy Butler had a big night with three hits, and as such was part of whatever the A’s offense could muster. In the second, he opened with a single, took second on a hit from Ryon Healy and scored on Coco Crisp’s two-out hit.

Butler’s second hit was a leadoff double in the fourth, but the A’s weren’t able to score him. When Butler doubled in the sixth it was part of a two-run inning that included a leadoff homer from Khris Davis, his second in two days and his 29th of the season.

Coco Crisp of the Oakland Athletics hits an RBI single scoring Billy Butler against the Seattle Mariners in the bottom of the second inning at the Oakland

Coco Crisp of the Oakland Athletics hits an RBI single scoring Billy Butler against the Seattle Mariners in the bottom of the second inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Butler double that inning, his third hit of the night, came with one out ,and he raced around to score on a close play at the plate on Jake Smolinski’s single to right.

From that point on, the A’s bats went as silent as the fireworks audio.

  • Saturday saw the sixth crowd of at least 30,000 to watch the 52-65 A’s at the Coliseum this season, and Oakland has had trouble in front of the big gates, going just 2-4 in those games.

  • Butler, whose three-hit game was his fourth of the season, has at least two hits in each of his last four starts against right-handed pitching. He only faces right-handers part-time, but that could change with continued success like that. He is now hitting .293, the highest average on the A’s roster.

  • Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle could be back with the A’s when they return from a seven-game trip to Texas and Chicago that starts Monday. Doolittle, who hasn’t pitched since June 25, is being sent out on an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Nashville.

  • Starter Jesse Hahn threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Saturday, and he if reports to the Coliseum on Sunday feeling no pain, he’ll be sent out on one injury rehabilitation start. Hahn, who last pitched on Aug. 5, is eligible to return from the disabled list next Saturday.

  • Catcher Josh Phegley took batting practice with the A’s on Saturday for the first time since knee surgery almost seven weeks ago. He still isn’t able to get into a catcher’s crouch, but both he and the A’s are optimistic that’s coming soon.

  • Henderson Alvarez said he’s “very optimistic” that he will start a game for the A’s this season. He’d hoped to rejoin the rotation in June after having shoulder surgery in July 2015, but he’s had two setbacks. On Saturday, he played catch on the side up to 105 feet, and he’s scheduled to throw out to about 120 feet Sunday. If that goes well, he’s expected to get bullpen sessions starting next week.

  • The A’s signed third baseman Jordan Diaz of Colombia. The A’s have watched him for a couple of years but had to wait until he turned 16 to sign him as part of their group of international signings.

  • It has been more than six weeks since the A’s have won a game by more than three runs. Each of Oakland’s last 17 wins have come by three runs or fewer (10 one-run, four two-run and three three-run). The last time the A’s won a game by more than three runs was a 7-1 victory over the Giants on June 29. In the A’s 22 losses since, eight have been by more than three runs.

    For more on the A’s, see John Hickey’s Inside the A’s blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him at twitter.com/JHickey3.

    sunday’s GAME

    Seattle (Wade LeBlanc 1-0) vs. A’s (Zach Neal 2-1), 1:05 p.m. CSNCA

  • 0

    Related posts