The A’s had little to celebrate on Cinco de Mayo Monday night, as they dropped the first of a four-game series to the Mariners.
Scott Kazmir surrendered his first loss of the season, and the Oakland bats managed just four hits in the 4-2 defeat.
The A’s knew that it would be a tall order to record a victory, with 6-foot-ten-inch Chris Young bringing his deceptive style of pitching to the hill as the starter for the Mariners.
“He’s an acquired taste, he’s unique in what he does. You look at the gun and it’s 85 miles-per-hour and he’s throwing the ball by you,” said Bob Melvin.
Seattle’s new “Big Unit” followed in the footsteps of former 6-foot-ten-inch Mariner, and five-time Cy Young award winner Randy Johnson in shutting down the A’s, albeit with a completely different technique.
“The pitch up looks soft and looks good to hit, but you see what we do with it, we foul it off all the time. And then when he goes down, it looks like it’s so far down that you can’t hit it, but it stays at the knees. He’s a tough guy to hit, he really is,” added Brandon Moss.
The lone highlight for the A’s was a two-run homer off the bat of Moss in the fourth inning. At the time, the blast tied the game, however Kazmir could not deliver a shutdown inning, allowing the first home run of outfielder Stefen Romero’s career in the top of the fifth, which would ultimately be the game-deciding run.
Fernando Abad tossed a perfect seventh inning to keep his ERA at a perfect 0.00 through his first 13.1 innings pitched in 2014. The lefty leads all Major League relievers in WHIP (0.41), and has allowed the fewest hits in the majors by a reliever with at least 10 innings pitched.
With the Texas Rangers also losing on the night, the A’s maintain a 2-game lead atop the AL west.
Oakland will look to get back in the win column Tuesday night behind Jesse Chavez (2-0, 1.89), opposed on the mound by Roenis Elias (2-2, 3.09). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PST.