OAKLAND . (AP) — Jesse Hahn looked unhittable while impressively dueling with Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.
Then things changed in a hurry, and even a ninth-inning rally wasn’t quite enough for the Athletics in another extra-inning loss to the Seattle Mariners, 8-7 on Sunday.
Hahn didn’t allow a hit until Dustin Ackley doubled off the right field wall to begin the sixth, and Seattle won despite getting outhit 14-7.
“It happened in a hurry there in the sixth,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “But early on, I don’t know how much better you can pitch.”
Nelson Cruz homered for the second straight game, hitting a tiebreaking solo drive in the 10th inning, and pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks had an earlier three-run homer to lead Seattle.
Closer Fernando Rodney squandered a four-run lead in the ninth when the A’s forced extra innings.
“He’s an unbelievable closer and we scored four runs off him,” Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt said. “That doesn’t happen very often, if at all.”
Sam Fuld hit a two-run double off Rodney and Oakland loaded the bases with no outs. After Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon went to the mound, Billy Butler grounded into a double play that brought home a run and pinch hitter Eric Sogard tied it with a single.
Then Cruz connected off new A’s closer Tyler Clippard (0-1) for his second homer this season. Cruz led the majors with 40 home runs last year for Baltimore, then signed with the Mariners.
Rodney (1-0) wound up with the win and Yoervis Medina finished for his first save in nearly two years.
“On several different accounts today we probably should have lost that game,” McClendon said. “It’s the type of game where it’s easy to lay down and say, ‘OK, we’ll get them tomorrow.’”
Hernandez left after five innings as a precaution because of tightness in his right quadriceps that made it tough to push off and generate momentum from his legs. He felt that in the third inning after tweaking his left ankle in the first. He said he “100 percent” will make his next start and has no concerns.
“No I’m not, not at all,” he said. “I believe in these guys. This offense is pretty good. I know it’s going to click. It’s a different look. We’re a different team. We can score different ways. We can score with a homer, we can score with speed. We look pretty good.”
Weeks hit a three-run homer in the seventh that put Seattle ahead 7-3.
Hernandez got a little help to stay unbeaten at the Oakland Coliseum over the past six years.
Former Gold Glove right fielder Josh Reddick, making his season debut off the disabled list, dropped a sharp liner for a two-run error that allowed the Mariners to tie it at 3 in the sixth.
Hernandez gave up three runs and eight hits in five innings. He is 6-0 at the Coliseum and has won four of his past six starts with a 2.87 ERA over 13 outings at the stadium since April 11, 2009.
Hahn, the 25-year-old righty acquired in a trade that sent All-Star catcher Derek Norris to the Padres, allowed only one earned run and three hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked two.
“I felt great all game. That’s probably the best stuff I’ve had. I just need to control the situation in the sixth better,” Hahn said. “I try to calm myself before every pitch, but I didn’t do that all the time in the sixth.”
After starting the first six games in the outfield, Ben Zobrist played second base for the A’s.
McClendon promises to go to his closer with a four-run lead all season.
“You’re a fool if you don’t put your closer in with a four-run lead,” he said.
Mariners: Hernandez was checked on by athletic trainer Rick Griffin and McClendon in the fifth but he stayed in the game.
Athletics: LHP Sean Doolittle, on the DL with a shoulder injury, threw from 90 feet for the third time and will move to 105 feet on Tuesday for three sessions. Then, it’ll be 120 feet three times and after that likely progress to off the mound.