Tom Wilhelmsen came on to relieve Blake Beavan in the seventh and promptly yielded an infield single that loaded the bases, walked in a run, then gave up a sacrifice fly to John Jaso that scored another run. Carter Capps then started off the eighth inning by giving up a solo homer to Brandon Moss and later, another one by Josh Reddick, so it’s now a 10-2 game.
3:20 p.m.: Josh Donaldson and Seth Smith tagged Blake Beavan for a pair of loooonnnnnnggg home runs to center field and right field in a three-pitch span to give the A’s a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Truth is, even at a two-run deficit, this game felt over the Mariners. Bartolo Colon has retired 16 of the 17 batters he’s faced since the Mariners had the bases loaded with one out in the second innin and failed to extend their lead.
2:52 p.m.: Oakland scored two more runs off Hisashi Iwakuma in the fifth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Iwakuma walked John Jaso, then yielded a double off the center field wall by Yoenis Cespedes to bring hom the go-ahead run Brandon Moss then singled to center for the second A’s run of the inning.
2:30 p.m.: Hisashi Iwakuma played with fire the first three innings and finally got burned in the fourth as the Oakland Athletics scored twice to tie the game 2-2. Josh Donaldson and Seth Smith opened the inning with the third and fourth extra-base hits allowed by Iwakuma to get Oakland on the board.
Then, Josh Reddick hit a single to center to tie the game.
Iwakuma recovered in time to avoid falling behind. He was helped when the A’s gave away an out on a bunt that sent Reddick to second base. Iwakuma then got Eric Sogard to line out to left and Coco Crsip to ground out.
But Iwakuma’s pitch count is now at 68. That means, he’ll likely be good for only another couple of innings — maybe three more if he really economizes.
The Mariners are going to have to figure out a way to score. And not just one run. They could use a few.
1:48 p.m.: Normally, a two-run inning by the Mariners and a 2-0 lead would be a good thing. But that second inning could have been so much more. The Mariners had five hits in the inning, including a two-run single by Endy Chavez. But with the bases loaded later and only one out, Kyle Seager tattooed a Bartolo Colon pitch and sent a screaming liner to right.
Josh Reddick came in and made the shoestring catch. Mike Zunino had to hold his ground at third because he’s nowhere near fast enough to test Reddick’s arm from that distance. That’s the second run today that the mere threat of Reddick’s arm has saved the A’s.
So, a bad break for the Mariners there. Then again, they caught a huge break to get any runs that inning. With Michael Morse on first base after a leadoff single, Nick Franklin hit a hard comebaker to Colon that looked like a double play ball. Colon knocked the ball down, but then didn’t realize it was lying at his feet (he has trouble seeing his feet, I’d guess, given his belt size). Colon looked everywhere and didn’t realize the ball was right there in front of him. By then, Morse had hobbled in to second, Franklin was safe at first and the inning was underway.
Hisashi Iwakuma can be dangerous with a one-run lead. He now has a two-run cushion.
1:15 p.m.: Real tough break for the Mariners in the first inning after they notched two singles off Bartolo Colon but came up empty. The key play of the inning was Endy Chavez making the decision not to go first-to-third on a single to right by Kyle Seager. Chavez normally takes that extra bag, but did not want to test the cannon arm of right fielder Josh Reddick.
The play proved huge because an ensuing flyout deep to center by Kendrys Morales would have easily scored Chavez from third. Instead, the inning ended moments later.
12:55 p.m.: Bartolo Colon has had the Mariners’ number in recent years and he’s off to an 8-2 start with a 2.92 ERA this season. So, no, this will not be an easy day for the struggling Mariners offense.
Seattle has won the past two games with home run help from the catching position. But that’s a little much to keep asking for. This team has to get runners on base and then cash them in at a much better rate than we’ve seen lately.
Hisashi Iwakuma can buy them time. He’ll have to. If Colon gets in an early rhythm, runs will be tough to come by.