OAKLAND (AP) — Another day, another rocky first inning for six-time All-Star Felix Hernandez.
Stephen Piscotty and the Athletics tagged Hernandez early, and Oakland ended the Seattle Mariners’ five-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory Thursday.
The A’s scored four times in the first inning, two on Piscotty’s double off Hernandez (5-4).
“Every five days I’m here talking with you guys and it’s the same story,” Hernandez said. “First inning three runs, then after that settle down.”
Hernandez has a 12.27 first-inning ERA.
“Today was frustrating,” Hernandez said. “You give up four runs and stayed there for six innings, retired the last 16 out of 17, with the same stuff that I got in the first inning. So I don’t know what’s going on in the first. I just have figure out how to be better in the first inning. I don’t know.
“I have to sit down with (pitching coach) Mel (Stottlemyre Jr.) and see what he’s got for me.”
Hernandez lost for just the second time in 19 starts in Oakland. He hadn’t lost at the Coliseum since April 30, 2015.
Oakland helped itself by turning a team record-tying five groundball double plays and stopped a five-game home skid.
“We had some chances,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The double-play balls really killed us today. We had chances to put more up there. Just didn’t happen.”
Yusmeiro Petit (2-1) pitched three scoreless innings in relief. He was among five A’s pitchers manager Bob Melvin used after saying it would be a bullpen day with rookie reliever Josh Lucas making a spot start.
“Using guys multiple innings was key for us today, and Petit giving us three was great,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Lucas lasted just two innings in his first career start, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks and throwing 52 pitches. The Mariners loaded the bases with no outs in the first, but managed just one run as Nelson Cruz grounded into a double play and Kyle Seager struck out.
Seager hit an RBI double off Blake Treinen in the eighth. Treinen got Daniel Vogelbach to fly out to end the inning with runners at second and third, and worked the ninth for his 11th save.
Jed Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly in the first, Piscotty doubled and Dustin Fowler had an RBI single.
“It was big,” Fowlers said of the A’s avoiding a sweep. “We had a good road trip and then we come in and we lost two, so it’s nice to get this win, so hopefully we can get the edge going and finish out this homestand strong.”
“The first inning, that’s the problem. After that, the same stuff that I have and they don’t hit me. If you take all my runs in the first inning, I’d probably be up there with (Justin) Verlander in ERA.” - Hernandez on his first inning struggles. Hernandez has a 4.11 ERA after the first inning this season.
Mariners: OF Mitch Haniger, who sat out Wednesday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his right forearm the previous day, was back in the lineup.
Athletics: LHP Ryan Buchter (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground from 75 feet Thursday without discomfort. Melvin said the team doesn’t have a timetable for when he’ll throw off a mound, the next step in his recovery. ... RHP Liam Hendriks (strained right groin) left for Arizona on Thursday to pitch in extended spring training games. ... RHP Paul Blackburn (strained right forearm) is headed to Arizona, too, and could soon start a rehab assignment.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (3-1, 3.30 ERA) will pitch in Friday’s series opener against Minnesota. Paxton is 2-1 with a 2.91 in three career starts against the Twins.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (5-4, 2.71) will pitch Friday’s series opener against Arizona. Manaea has never faced Arizona but is 2-4 with a 3.63 ERA in eight career interleague starts.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball