Brendan Ryan is having a big game so far. He just hit an infield single to bring home Justin Smoak and give the Mariners a 5-3 lead midway through the eighth. Hisashi Iwakuma is done after seven innings, 96 pitches. Charlie Furbush is on in relief.
2:20 p.m.: Brendan Ryan had struck out in two prior at-bats, but this time delivered a two-run double in the sixth that has the Mariners ahead for the first time all day at 4-3. A leadoff walk to Kendrys Morales was followed by a pair of strikeouts and then a two-out walk to Dustin Ackley.
Ryan’s shot went just inside the third base bag and down the left field line. Ackley was waved all the way around and arrived at the plate at the same time as the throw. A’s catcher Stephen Vogt hung in until the last minute blocking the plate, then went flying as Ackley clipped him coming in low. Vogt lay on the ground in pain for several minutes but got up and remained in the game. Remember, the As lost Derek Norris to a broken toe last night and John Jaso is out indefinitely with a concussion. So, things are truly thin behind the plate for Oakland right now. Vogt is certainly taking on for the team.
2:01 p.m.: Brad Miller just tagged A.J. Griffin for his fifth homer of the season to cut the Oakland lead to 3-2 in the top of the fifth. Miller likes to hit his home runs in pairs — he has a pair of two-homer games previous for his only long balls — so we’ll see what he does the rest of the game.
1:52 p.m.: Brandon Moss hammered a pitch over the wall in left center to give the A’s a lead in the fourth, then they scored another run to go up 3-1. Yoenis Cespedes doubled to left center, Josh Reddick blooped a single to right and Alberto Callaspo hit a sacrifice fly to center to get the second run home.
1:04 p.m.: Michael Morse just tied the game 1-1 in the second inning with a solo homer to dead center. Morse’s first homer since Aug. 2 at Baltimore. He had been 2-for-20 on the road trip coming into today.
12:55 p.m.: Coco Crisp hit the first pitch thrown by Hisashi Iwakuma into the right field stands to give Oakland a 1-0 lead. But it could have been worse, since the ensuing batter, Jed Lowrie, tripled to the right field corner. But Iwakuma got out of it with a strikeout of Josh Donaldson, a comebacker groundout by Brandon Moss and a strikeout of Yoenis Cespedes.
I’ll say it again, for a supposed contender, this A’s team does not bring all that much to the table offensively. If it keeps up, they won’t be going to the post-season.
12:35 p.m.: Considering how tough this road trip was for the Mariners, a winning record would be no small accomplishment. The Mariners can pull that 5-4 record off with a victory here this afternoon behind the pitching of Hisashi Iwakuma.
I’ll tell you what: not sure how the Oakland Athetics are still competing for a playoff spot. They don’t hit, their pitching looks a little suspect and yeah, they play defense well, except for when Yoenis Cespedes drops a catchable Henry Blanco double like last night. Should have been an error.
Based on what I’ve seen, I would not be stunned if the A’s fall from contention these final six weeks.
As for the Mariners, they’ve hung tough in most of the games this trip — which is about all we can expect at this stage.