SEATTLE – Jason Vargas didn’t fret as much about the at-bat that sank him, compared to the one two batters earlier.
Vargas and the Mariners lost 4-2 to the Oakland Athletics Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field largely because of a three-run homer by Jonny Gomes in the fifth inning.
But Vargas wasn’t as irked by that as the two-out curveball he had thrown a couple of batters earlier to Adam Rosales that was laced for a single to keep the inning going.
Coco Crisp followed with a single before Gomes ripped a pitch off the upper deck in left to help the A’s complete a three-game sweep in which Seattle’s offense deserted its mound men once again.
“I feel like I’m more than capable of getting him out with my other two pitches,” Vargas said of his 2-2 offering to Rosales. “It’s just one of those things you learn from and you tip your hat.”
Vargas didn’t make many more mistakes in his seven innings, though the Gomes blast was enough. Josh Donaldson added a solo homer in the eighth off Josh Kinney to close out the scoring in front of 14,403.
Kyle Seager hit a solo homer for Seattle in the sixth off Oakland starter Tommy Milone after Michael Saunders drove in the Mariners’ first run with a triple in the fifth.
But a lack of finish on offense again plagued the Mariners, who have gone 19 straight games in which all of their scoring has happened in just one or two innings. The Mariners are 9-10 over that stretch, but 1-8 versus teams that are .500 or better.
“It’s just tough when we don’t loosen things up offensively,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “That’s what’s happening when you’re laying on every pitch like that.”
Wedge has said he prefers when the Mariners can score in at least three innings. Teams that do that increase the odds of scoring four or more runs – which is needed to win the typical game – as long as there are multiple runs in one of the three innings. The Mariners again battled in their at-bats and put runners on-base outhitting Oakland 9-5, but couldn’t finish the job.
Milone fanned 10 in six innings to limit damage.