OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics sure would like to be swinging better in late September with the playoffs fast approaching.
Robbie Grossman provided a pair of home runs in his first career multi-homer game for the AL West champions yet again the A’s stumbled to a 12-3 loss in Game 2 as the Seattle Mariners swept their doubleheader Saturday.
“It’s not a great feeling. It’s a major league baseball game, you’re trying to win,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “The first one was tough, obviously. We felt like we had a pretty good chance to win that game and we didn’t.
“Had some opportunities. Second game we knew the pitching was going to be a little bit limited and there were some guys I didn’t want to use in this game so it ended up getting a little bit out of hand. You’ve just got to put the day away and come play tomorrow and know that’s the last game of the regular season and the postseason starts.”
J.P. Crawford delivered all day for Seattle. He hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning of a 5-1 extra-innings Game 1 win after his tying single in the sixth, then added an RBI double in an eight-run third during the nightcap.
Kyle Seager homered in both games, and Tim Lopes connected in the second.
Seager hit a two-run drive in the eighth inning of the opener and a solo shot in the second game for the Mariners, who bounced back from a tough loss a night earlier with a pair of impressive wins.
Grossman connected on solo drives in the first and fifth innings against right-hander Justin Dunn (3-1).
Tommy La Stella tripled to begin the sixth in Game 1, but the A’s couldn’t capitalize against former Oakland right-hander Kendall Graveman (1-3).
“That was great to be able to go out in a high-leverage situation, especially this whole month, and to be able to do that with some added Adrenalin,” Graveman said.
Khris Davis hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, but that was it for the A’s, whose hitting is hardly where they would hope.
“I have no doubt in this team. We’re the best team in the division, I would take us over anyone,” Grossman said. “It’s been a grind.”
The typically slugging A’s (35-23), who will host a best-of-three wild-card series starting Tuesday at the Coliseum, are still struggling as an offense but doing just enough. They won 3-1 in 10 innings Friday night on Mark Canha’s two-run homer.
Liam Hendriks (3-1) pitched a perfect seventh before finding trouble in the eighth, when Ty France also singled home an insurance run for Seattle. France doubled in a run in the second game.
“Heck of a comeback,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I can’t say enough about the effort and the grind. We have some grit.”
Seattle was the home team for Game 2, a makeup from a Sept. 3 postponement following a positive coronavirus test result by A’s right-hander Daniel Mengden on Aug. 29 in Houston.
Oakland starter Mike Minor struck out seven over five innings but still has just one win since joining the A’s — against Seattle on Sept. 14.
Mariners starter Justus Sheffield allowed one run on five hits over five innings with two walks and a strikeout after winning his previous two starts.
A’s right-hander Paul Blackburn (0-1) lost Game 2 in his season debut.
The A’s played their fifth doubleheader overall, fourth in a 19-day span and their second in 13 days against the Mariners after another on Sept. 14 in Seattle.
Oakland has played its most doubleheaders since also having five in 1986.
The A’s managed nine hits — three by Grossman — after being held to six or fewer hits in 11 of their previous 13 games.
The Mariners added RHP Seth Frankoff as their 29th player for the doubleheader.
RHP Frankie Montas (3-5, 6.32 ERA) takes the mound for the A’s in the regular-season finale looking to snap a two-start skid, with Seattle LHP Marco Gonzales (7-2, 3.06) looking to win his sixth straight start.
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