All it took was a couple of mistakes from Jon Lester to send the Oakland Athletics tumbling to a 2-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland.
The club fell to 79-60 after Lester served up back-to-back home runs to Kyle Seager and Corey Hart in the seventh inning.
“If I give up two solo homers, I like my chances in just about any game,” said Lester. “Felix [Hernandez] was on the other side and did one better.”
Before hitting that rut, Lester had cruised through the game, craving up the Seattle Mariners lineup. The left-hander, who has now been tagged for five home runs in his last four starts, drops to 13-10 with a 2.54 ERA. The veteran hasn’t picked up a win since August 12 against the Kansas City Royals. On the afternoon, Lester worked eight innings, allowing two runs and punching out five.
“Basically three swings of the bat, and they got two of them,” said manager Bob Melvin of the three solo shots that ended up deciding the game. “Literally in this case, it’s one more [home run] than we got.”
The A’s grabbed an early edge in the fourth, when Adam Dunn crushed a moon shoot into the seats in right field. For Dunn, the home run marked the second time that he’s gone yard in four games with Oakland. Outside of that drive, the team managed just two hits.
“He’s one of the best,” said Dunn of Hernandez. “Just like every other guy that’s one of the best, if you don’t get him early, it’s going to be a long day.”
Luke Gregerson worked a scoreless eighth after Lester left the game.
The A’s are off on Thursday before retuning to action on Friday in Game 1 of a three-game series with the Houston Astros. Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 3.57 ERA) takes the mound for Oakland, while Houston has yet to announce a starter. First pitch at the O.co Coliseum is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Note: Stephen Vogt exited the game after the sixth inning with what the team later announced was a sprained left ankle.