OAK 4, SEA 7: Bullpen falters as Athletics fall to Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 13: Matt Joyce
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 13: Matt Joyce /

The Oakland Athletics weren’t able to pull through against the Seattle Mariners on Friday despite leading for much of the night, falling 7-4.

Andrew Triggs turned in another solid outing for the A’s, allowing five hits, two runs and two walks with four strikeouts in five innings. Triggs looked good before exiting in the sixth inning, giving way to Ryan Buchter who pitched a scoreless sixth.

The seventh inning was where it all went wrong for the Athletics.

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Oakland held a 3-2 lead heading into the seventh but they would come out of it trailing 7-3, giving up five runs to the Mariners.

The combination of Yusmeiro Petit, Danny Coulombe and Chris Hatcher gave up a combined four hits and five runs (2 HR) with zero strikeouts. The bullpen blew this one big time and the A’s just couldn’t recover after that. Coulombe was pegged with the loss, but it was a joint effort.

Mariners starter Mike Leake went six innings deep, allowing seven hits, three runs (2 HR) and two walks with four strikeouts; Khris Davis and Matt Chapman both homered off Leake.

The A’s were able to get multiple guys on base with him on the mound, but they weren’t able to get anything substantial aside from the two homers.

Khris Davis had himself another great game (more on him soon), Matt Chapman went 2-for-4 with the aforementioned home run, Matt Joyce drew three walks and Stephen Piscotty finished 2-for-4.

The Athletics were respectable on offense tonight, it was just their pitching that left a lot to be desired.

Khrush Davis

Mr. Davis continued his tear, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs (2 HR). Davis has rebounded nicely after a slow start to the season and has firmly established himself as the key cog on offense.

For the season he’s hitting .264 with four home runs and 10 RBI.

Smolinski’s struggles

Jake Smolinski has been struggling big time this season and that remained the case tonight. He finished 0-for-3, striking out once.

Smolinski is hitting just .053 (1-for-19) on the season and the A’s really need production near the bottom of the lineup.

With the likes of Trayce Thompson, Mark Canha and even Dustin Fowler down in Triple-A knocking on the door, Smolinski needs to snap into gear swiftly otherwise he may not be around much longer.

Next: A’s offense returns with a bang in win over Dodgers

Boog Powell and Chad Pinder are both currently on the DL and their eventual returns will prompt the Athletics to make a decision on their center fielders, too. If Smolinski continues to struggle he may be the one who draws the short straw.

It’s certainly a situation worth keeping a close eye on.