Valencia's grand slam not enough as A's fall to Mariners, 11-8



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OAKLAND, California — Bob Melvin's postgame press conferences are getting shorter and shorter as the end of the season draws closer.

The Athletics' manager is running out of ways to describe his ballclub's epic fall from three-time division champion to owner of the worst record in the AL.

Melvin's patience might be wearing thin as well after Oakland let an early four-run lead slip away.

Danny Valencia had two hits including his third career grand slam but the A's couldn't keep up with Seattle's offense in an 11-8 loss to the Mariners on Friday night.

"It's always nice to get off to a good start but it wasn't enough," Valencia said. "It's frustrating but that's how it goes sometimes. It's tough when you're not winning."

The A's built a four-run lead on Valencia's 13th home run of the season and were up 5-1 in the second before the Mariners scored six times in the third to go ahead for good.

Logan Morrison had three hits, including a two-run double as part of the six-run third inning, while Kyle Seager and Stefen Romero both homered and Brad Miller drove in three runs for the Mariners, who won their third straight to clinch the season series between the division rivals.

Aaron Brooks (1-2) took the loss for Oakland after allowing six runs in 2 1/3 innings.

"It was a bad night to have a bad night, especially after what our offense did," Brooks said. "The offense put us up early and I couldn't keep us there."

The two teams, who entered with the worst records in the AL West, combined for 28 hits, including six doubles, one triple and three home runs.

Romero, a September call-up who entered the game in the bottom of the second after Franklin Gutierrez was forced out with tightness in his right groin, had an RBI single off Brooks as part of Seattle's big third inning. He hit his first homer of the season in the fourth off reliever Fernando Abad.

The A's pulled to 9-8 in the sixth before Seager hit his 22nd home run in the ninth.

"We get down early . but we put a lot of good at-bats, a lot of guys had big hits and we were able to really battle all night," Seager said.

Jose Ramirez (1-0), the second of eight Seattle pitchers, retired five batters for the win. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for his ninth save.

Most of the scoring came in the first four innings after both starters were knocked out of the game.

The A's took an early lead on Valencia's third career grand slam off a 1-1 pitch from Seattle's Edgar Olmos. Olmos retired just four batters and gave up five runs in his second major league start.

Brett Lawrie's RBI double in the second extended Oakland's lead to 5-1 before Seattle roared back with a season-high six runs in the third against Brooks. The Mariners had four doubles in the inning, including back-to-back from Morrison and Miller that drove in two runs apiece.

Marcus Semien had a two-run triple for the A's.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: Stephen Vogt had a pinch-hit single in the seventh after being scratched from the starting lineup due to soreness in his right elbow. ... OF Coco Crisp singled as a pinch-hitter in the sixth after sitting out three games with a sore neck. ... OF Sam Fuld continues to be sidelined with back spasms. ... RHP Sean Nolin was recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game and is scheduled to pitch the finale of this series.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (15-8) has 21 career wins against the A's but lost in his last appearance at Oakland on July 4, his first there since 2008.

Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez (7-13) has given up at least one home run in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak by an Oakland pitcher over the past two seasons.

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