OAKLAND, Calif. — A base running blunder by Kendrys Morales in the seventh inning wiped out Seattle’s chance to take a lead.
Three straight outs with the potential go-ahead run at third base in the eighth inning erased another potential big inning.
Not even a solid start by Aaron Harang after overcoming forearm tightness in his previous outing was enough to take the sting off this loss.
Mariners reliever Carter Capps gave up a one-out solo home run to Brandon Moss in the ninth inning, and Seattle lost 2-1 to the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
“(Harang) was good, his elbow was fine, no tightness,” Mariners interim manager Robby Thompson said. “He mixed in his breaking ball and moved his fastball around. A very nice outing for him. Too bad it was spoiled at the end.”
Seattle put its leadoff hitter on base five times, but only scored once.
Morales made the most pivotal mistake after hitting a game-tying single in the seventh. The Mariners designated hitter rounded second then jogged into third standing up on Justin Smoak’s sharp single to right field and was thrown out by Josh Reddick. It was Reddick’s 16th assist.
“I didn’t realize it,” Morales said through an interpreter. “I didn’t know he was going to have a chance to throw to third. I was surprised about it. My main thing was thinking just to get to third.”
Thompson said third base coach Daren Brown was trying to get Morales to slide, but couldn’t get his attention.
“I think (Morales) assumed that maybe Reddick was going to come up and throw the ball to second base,” Thompson said. “Once again a little base running blunder, stuff we can’t afford to let happen. That’s one guy you don’t want to challenge, especially if you’re kind of a below average runner. He’s going to try to get you.”
The Mariners missed another chance to take the lead in the eighth when Michael Saunders singled and reached third when A’s starter Jarrod Parker threw Dustin Ackley’s sacrifice bunt down the right-field line. Parker came back to strike out Humberto Quintero and Nick Franklin around a foul out by Brad Miller.
After Seattle went quietly in the ninth, the A’s won when Moss drove a 2-1 pitch off Capps (2-3).
“I watched it about four or five times already and felt like I executed the pitch pretty good,” Capps said. “I was trying to throw a strike low and away, and I did. He just got to it.”
Parker (9-6) pitched his first career complete game, allowing eight hits. He struck out eight, did not walk a batter and threw 100 pitches.
Josh Donaldson drove in a run for the A’s, who have won four of five.
Harang gave up a run and five hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out three.
The A’s took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes singled to open the inning and Donaldson had an RBI grounder.
Harang made his major league debut in Oakland more than 11 years ago. Thompson played in his first World Series game in Oakland in 1989. “It’s always special coming back to the Bay Area, especially staying over in San Francisco and walking around,” Thompson said. “It brings back a lot of memories, no doubt. I spent a lot of time here. Had some good years here.” A’s manager Bob Melvin and Thompson were teammates in San Francisco. … Seattle manager Eric Wedge is coming back from a mild stroke, and is expected to be in uniform on Friday in Seattle. … Mariners OF Michael Morse missed his second straight game with a sore wrist.
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