The Oakland A's returned home for the week, finding themselves in a five game whole against the AL West leading Los Angeles Angels. To begin the week, the Seattle Mariners came in for a three game series, looking to gain ground in the standings in an effort to make the playoffs.
The Athletics came into the series struggling on both offense and defense. Aside from Josh Donaldson, no one in the regular lineup was producing anything of substance. At the same time, it looked as if a few of the A's pitching arms were showing signs of fatigue.
How did the team fare against the Mariners? Here is a brief recap of the three game series:
Game 1 final score: Athletics 6, Mariners 1
The A's welcomed fans back to O.co by exploding out of the gate offensively on Labor Day. Oakland scored five times in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by newly acquired Adam Dunn's home run in his first at bat with the club.
SP Jason Hammel pitched his first gem with the Athletics, going eight innings and allowing just one run - a solo HR to Brad Miller - while striking out five. RP Eric O’Flaherty came in to pitch a near perfect ninth inning to secure the victory for the Athletics.
Game 2 final score: Mariners 6, Athletics 5
Sonny Gray got the call in Tuesday's game for the A's and again showed some signs of slowing down as the season drags on. After getting through the first few innings without issue, Gray gave up two runs in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings. When all was said and done, Gray gave up seven hits and two walks, while only striking out two Mariners.
After being blanked through seven innings by sp James Paxton, the Athletics showed some grit in the eighth inning by cutting the lead in half on RBI hits from Adam Dunn and Craig Gentry. They then made it that much more interesting by plating two more runs in the ninth. After Josh Donaldson and Stephen Vogt struck out to start the inning, the A’s tried to rally back, bringing the tying run to the plate, only to have Josh Reddick ground out to end the game in quite the anti-climactic fashion.
Game 3 final score: Mariners 2, Athletics 1
A primetime pitching match-up took place at O.co Wednesday afternoon as Felix Hernandez and Jon Lester dueled for eight innings apiece. Unfortunately for the A’s, King Felix received just a little more run support than Lester and the Mariners took the series in Oakland.
Adam Dunn gave the A’s a 1-0 lead with a solo HR in the fourth inning but the A’s offense failed to do much of anything else the rest of the way against Hernandez, who only gave up two other hits on the afternoon. Lester gave up back to back home runs in the top of the seventh inning to Kyle Seager and Corey Hart and that was all the Mariners needed to gain a little more ground in the AL West standings.
The A’s are off on Thursday before hosting the Houston Astros Friday through Sunday at the Coliseum. Depending the outcome of the Angels games on Wednesday night in Houston and Thursday night in Minnesota, the Athletics could find themselves as many as six games down in the AL West when they pick up their series on Friday. Pitching match-ups remain the same from this week's Weekly Preview as the A's continue to look for the means of recapturing some of the good ole times from earlier this season when they looked to be the best team in baseball.