The Oakland Athletics failed to plate a single run for the second consecutive night on Friday, as the American League’s second to worst offense remained in a rut in a 4-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Rookie right hander Michael Pineda allowed just five hits in six scoreless innings of work, striking out five A’s and walking just two batters for his his third consecutive win.
Tyson Ross lasted just four and one third innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and four walks in his first start of the season. Typically confined to relief work, Ross replaced the injured Dallas Braden in the A’s rotation. Adam Kennedy delivered the big hit for Seattle with a two-run single in the fifth that sent Ross to the shower. Reliever Jerry Blevins surrendered another M’s run without recording a single out as the Mariners padded their lead with three runs in the fifth.
It didn’t much matter because of how poorly the A’s swung the bat, but the small silver lining on Friday night was the solid work turned in by the rest of the A’s bullpen. Brad Ziegler, David Purcey, and Craig Breslow recorded the final 11 outs for Oakland, yielding no runs on just two hits and one walk while striking out four.
Oakland tried to make things interesting in their final at bat. After Hideki Matsui struck out looking to lead off the top of the ninth, Kurt Suzuki and Mark Ellis both singled. Ryan Sweeney then walked to load the bases with just one out, but perhaps fittingly, pinch hitter Conor Jackson grounded into a double play to kill the rally. The shutout loss was the second in two nights and the third in eight days.
Oakland and Seattle continue their four-game set at Safeco Field tomorrow evening. The A’s will send out Trevor Cahill to try to snap the mini-skid, while Jason Vargas will try to continue their streak of pitching brilliance for the Mariners on Saturday night.