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Mariners stop Athletics as road 'dogs

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Athletics manager Bob Melvin was too angry at his team to be concerned with a close call at home plate.

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After another disheartening loss in which Oakland once again came up short with runners in scoring position and blew a lead for a second straight day, the normally even-tempered Melvin had far more important things on his mind.

``Everything that we did today is what's wrong with us,'' Melvin said after the A's 5-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.

``We didn't add on early, we didn't make big pitches when we had to, we didn't come through in situational at_bats. Ugly, ugly game for us and it's been going on for a while.''

Melvin had good reason to be unhappy.

Oakland finished 4-5 on its nine-game homestand. Four of the five losses were to the Mariners and Houston Astros, two teams well behind the second-place A's in the AL West.

The latest loss was typical of the others. The A's stranded three runners at third, one at second and had another runner get thrown out at the plate.

One day after blowing a four-run lead in a 7-4 loss to Seattle, Oakland wasted another early lead.

``We're leaving guys on third with less than two outs, we're not getting guys over and that's what cost us the game today,'' Melvin said.

``We continually address it. Sometimes I think we do it too much to where we put too much pressure on guys. But it comes to a point where you just have to step up. You have to grind it, you have to get it done and we're not.''

Brendan Ryan hit a go-ahead two-run double off Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (10-9) in the sixth and added an RBI single in the eighth to help the Mariners rally.

Michael Morse and Brad Miller homered for Seattle, which overcame an uneven start by Hisashi Iwakuma to beat the A's for the fourth time in the past five games between the division rivals.

Iwakuma (12-6) gave up a pair of home runs and pitched with runners in scoring position most of the afternoon, but limited the damage to win his second straight. The Mariners' right-hander struck out four and walked two in seven innings.

``A couple times he got hit hard, then he was able to make the adjustment and get the ball back down in the lower part of the strike zone,'' Seattle interim manager Robby Thompson said.

``When he gets in trouble, a lot of times he has a great knack of getting out of it with maybe a run when maybe it could end up being a big inning.''

Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss hit home runs for the A's, who are 15-16 since the All-Star break.

Ryan entered the game in a 9-for-75 slump and struck out in his first two at_bats before doubling off Griffin with two outs in the sixth.

Ryan hit a two-out, 0-2 pitch sharply down the third base line that glanced off the glove of Oakland's Josh Donaldson and ricocheted into the A's bullpen.

Kendrys Morales scored and Dustin Ackley barely beat the relay throw home despite colliding with A's catcher Stephen Vogt to put the Mariners up 4-3. Replays appeared to show Vogt applying the tag just before Ackley touched home plate.

``I thought at the time I got him,'' Vogt said.

Ryan's RBI single off Dan Otero in the eighth made it 5-3.

Crisp homered leading off the bottom of the first and Moss hit his 20th of the season in the fourth. Callaspo added a sacrifice fly to give the A's a 3-1 lead.

Oakland had several more opportunities, but failed to come through.

``It's just one of those things where when we don't get those big hits, we don't win,'' said A's third baseman Josh Donaldson, who struck with a runner at third in the first then popped out with runners at first and third to end the seventh.

``One day we'll hit the ball well and score some runs. The next we'll kind of puddle around and let the guy hang in there. We've gotta get the job done.''

Morse hit a towering home run off Griffin in the second and Miller added a leadoff shot in the fifth.

Griffin, who has given up a majors-leading 30 home runs this season, struck out seven but continued to have issues with his control. He walked four, giving him 15 over his past three starts.

Notes: Oakland RF Josh Reddick suffered a sprained right wrist after making a diving catch on Miller's fly out in the seventh. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI following the game. ... Catcher Derek Norris was held out of the lineup after breaking a toe in his left foot during a play at the plate in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 7-4 loss. ... A's OF Seth Smith sat out a second straight game with an astigmatism in his eye, but will accompany the team on its road trip this week.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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