May 10, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (17) hits a RBI double against the Oakland Athletics during the 1st inning at Safeco FIeld. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Straily Struggles, A’s Fall Below .500 With Loss to Mariners


The Oakland A’s had a big hole to climb out of in 2012. Right now, it looks like they’ll have to deal with the same adversity.

Dan Straily struggled, Oakland’s offense was shut down by Hisashi Iwakuma and the A’s opened up their series in Seattle on the wrong foot. Seattle beat the A’s 6-3, riding a Raul Ibanez home run and an early offensive explosion to a crucial win.

Oakland has lost 17 of its last 26 games, and it is now 18-19. Oakland has now lost five straight, and the Mariners are just a half-game behind the A’s because of it. Straily surrendered six runs in five innings, and the league’s 27th-best offense (in terms of runs scored) took advantage of Straily’s mistakes.

Kendrys Morales and Michael Saunders registered two hits for the 17-19 Mariners, who are now 5.5 games behind the division-leading Rangers. Oakland is only five games back, but its recent struggles are very concerning. Iwakuma shut down Oakland’s offense, as he surrendered a mere four hits in seven innings.

Chris Resop and Jesse Chavez pitched very well out of the bullpen, as the two combined to allow just one hit in three innings. However, four run-scoring hits enabled the Mariners to construct a comfortable 6-0 lead, one the A’s couldn’t overcome. Jed Lowrie knocked in two with an RBI double and Derek Norris homered, but the A’s fell short by three runs. Tom Wilhemsein closed the game out for his 10th save.

Now, the A’s are in a hole. If the Mariners can win the second game of the series, Seattle will take over sole possession of second place. And, if Oakland’s recent struggles are any indication, the Mariners won’t have tons of trouble doing that.

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