The Oakland Athletics have been on the short end of some late rallies already this season. They got one back on Thursday.
Coco Crisp led off the bottom of the 12th by sending reliever Hector Noesi’s first pitch of the game deep into the night and over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field and the A’s handed the Seattle Mariners their first loss of the young season, 3-2.
Even as the A’s (2-2) began to celebrate their win, the umpires went to the replay headset after the ball caromed back down into play and was quickly thrown back into the infield by right fielder Michael Saunders.
But after just a few seconds, crew chief Fieldin Culbreth signaled home run and the celebration could begin in earnest.
Jesse Chavez made his first start for Oakland after 39 relief appearances and was solid, allowing two runs—one earned—on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings.
But young left-hander Roenis Elias was even better in his first start of the season for the Mariners (3-1), allowing a run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts in five innings.
The Mariners got an unearned run in the first without the benefit of a hit. Abraham Almonte led off the game on a strange play where two errors were called.
Almonte hit a grounder toward first baseman Alberto Callaspo—making his first career appearance at the position—and it rolled through Callaspo’s legs into short right field. Second baseman Nick Punto recovered the ball and tried to make a quick throw as Almonte danced off first base. The throw hit Chavez, covering the base, and skipped into foul territory, allowing Almonte to scoot to second.
Almonte moved to third on a fly out to center and scored when Robinson Cano grounded out to second base.
The Mariners got to Chavez again in the fifth. Logan Morrison and Dustin Ackley led off the inning with consecutive singles to put runners and first and third and after a fly out, Almonte singled up the middle to chase Morrison home to give Seattle a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Punto reached on a two-out single and Sam Fuld followed with a drive into the gap in right-center. Almonte dove but missed and the ball skipped to the wall. Fuld charged around third and tried to score, but was cut down by Cano’s relay to catcher Mike Zunino.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin asked for a review to see if Zunino had illegally blocked the plate from Fuld, but the out call was upheld to end the inning with the Mariner lead cut to 2-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, Crisp walked off left-hander Charlie Furbush, who was pulled at that point in favor of right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen. Crisp stole second and Josh Donaldson later walked before Jed Lowrie bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, with Crisp moving to third.
Yoenis Cespedes was clutch, though, tying the game with a screaming liner into the gap that went all the way to the wall in right-center for a triple.
The M’s got a runner to second in the 10th inning. Almonte lined a one-out single off Sean Doolittle and stole second, but Doolittle struck out Cano to end the threat.
The A’s had two on with walks to Crisp and Lowrie in the 11th, but Oakland couldn’t capitalize.
Drew Pomeranz (1-0) got the win for the A’s after working a perfect top of the 12th. Noesi (0-1) threw one pitch and took the loss.
Fernando Abad walked one and struck out three in two innings of work. Doolittle also worked two frames, allowing a hit and striking out one. Luke Gregerson pitched the 11th, striking out one in a 1-2-3 frame.
Punto had two of Oakland’s six hits.
The series continues Friday at 7:05 p.m. at O.co Coliseum, with veteran right-hander Chris Young set to make his first big-league appearance since 2012 in his Mariners debut and right-hander Dan Straily scheduled to make his first start of the season for the A’s.
Tags: Oakland Athletics