OAKLAND, Calif. – An early wake-up call at his home Thursday morning was followed by another one for Jesus Colome later that afternoon.
The Seattle Mariners did not want to see Colome, their newly installed long reliever, anywhere near a mound as early on as the fifth inning. But there he was, pressed into service for three much-needed innings of work in this 6-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics after Mariners starter Doug Fister bowed out just four frames in.
This third straight defeat has sounded a wake-up call of sorts for the Mariners as well – one bound to spur plenty of meetings in which starters will be told they have to go deeper into games and hitters will be implored to be more selective at the plate.
“I thought we felt our way through it and I felt they came out and played,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said of the four-game series, in which his team won the opener. “I think they outplayed us this series flat-out.”
Wakamatsu could at least take some solace in the fact that Colome, awakened by phone at 2 a.m. and told to fly here from the Seattle area, gave them three innings of two-run ball on 44 pitches. The addition of journeyman Colome from Triple-A, with Ryan Langerhans designated for assignment, enabled the M’s to rest most of their other relievers ahead of what could be a tough series against the slugging Texas Rangers.
Kanekoa Texeira gave up a pair of runs in the ninth. But otherwise, the Mariners got out of this series finale, played in front of 12,464 fans at the Coliseum, in relatively good bullpen shape compared to where they might have been had they carried on with a six-reliever plan that wasn’t panning out.
Wakamatsu didn’t want to sound any alarm bells about his team, which trailed 6-0 in the ninth before Mike Sweeney and Matt Tuiasosopo produced run-scoring singles off the Oakland bullpen.
“Obviously, we’re going to have some dialogue about the at-bats that we had in this series and break down the numbers and try to get better at it,” Wakamatsu said.
The offense has scored 13 runs in four games, but even that total is somewhat misleading. Seattle’s final two runs to win the series opener were both unearned after an error, while their lone run of the second game was the result of a balk and a wild pitch.
Seattle hitters couldn’t touch Oakland left-handed starter Brett Anderson, summoning just three hits in six-plus innings and not scoring until down a half-dozen runs with two outs to go in the game.
Fister threw 24 pitches in each of his first two innings and had trouble putting hitters away even when he did get ahead in counts. He had Ryan Sweeney down 1-2 in the third but left his next pitch up in the zone and saw it drilled to right-center for a double that opened the scoring.
“I was trying to go up and in on him and didn’t get it in,” Fister said. “I left too much of it over the plate.”
Fister was one strike away from ending the fourth quickly and perhaps being called back out for the fifth. But A’s leadoff man Rajai Davis made him throw three more pitches after being down 0-2 and ripped a single to right.
Daric Barton then blooped a ball into center to drive in a run on a career-high four-RBI day.
Athletics 6, Mariners 2
E—Barton (2). LOB—Seattle 6, Oakland 10. 2B—F.Gutierrez (2), R.Sweeney (1), Ellis (1), Pennington 2 (2). RBIs—M.Sweeney (1), Tuiasosopo (1), Barton 4 (5), R.Sweeney (3), Pennington (2). SB—Patterson (1), Pennington (1). RLSP—Seattle 3 (Jo.Lopez, Kotchman 2); Oakland 5 (Kouzmanoff, E.Chavez 2, R.Sweeney, Ellis). GIDP—Kotchman. DP—Oakland 2 (R.Sweeney, R.Sweeney, Pennington), (Pennington, Ellis, Barton).
|Gaudin H,1||1 2/3||1||0||0||0||3||0.00|
IR-S—Gaudin 2-0, Blevins 1-0, A.Bailey 2-1. IBB—off Fister (Kouzmanoff). WP—Fister 2, Colome. PB—K.Suzuki. Balk—Fister. T—2:50. A—12,464 (35,067).