OAKLAND — The Coliseum is known for being more of a pitcher’s park, but it turned into a bandbox for the day.
The A’s were outgunned 6-3 by the Seattle Mariners in Wednesday’s matinee which featured five home runs in the first five innings in front of a sparse announced crowd of 14,989.
Jharel Cotton was clobbered for three of the five home runs. He surrendered a three-run homer to Kyle Seager in the first and solo bombs to Nelson Cruz in the third and fifth innings. Both of Cruz’s were no-doubters, the first traveling about 450 feet and the second 436 feet with exit velocities that topped 110 miles per hour each.
The three home runs were the most Cotton has allowed in a single outing over his big league career.
Seager’s homer stung the most. Cotton got ahead in the count with two strikes against Seager and the two batters who reached base before him, but the rookie was unable to retire any of them.
While Cotton managed to provide the A’s with his longest outing since coming off the disabled list with six innings pitched, the six earned runs were also the most he has allowed since returning and second-most of his career. His ERA sits at 5.72.
Khris Davis launched his third home run in as many games in the third. His solo shot to center off Yovani Gallardo was his 31st of the season to tie him for third among American League leaders and cut the deficit to 5-2.
The A’s other runs came on a homer by Matt Joyce to lead off the first and an RBI double by Jed Lowrie down the left-field line that drove home Joyce from first in the fifth.
Marcus Semien nearly brought the A’s within two in the fifth, but Ben Gamel crashed into the left field wall for a highlight-reel leaping catch that took away what would have been a two-run homer.
— Davis has been baseball’s most prolific masher over the past two seasons.He has 73 home runs since the start of 2016, the most in MLB over that span. The closest to Davis is Cruz with 69.
Like most of Davis’ home runs, Tuesday night’s shot was a no-doubter to right field. A’s manager Bob Melvin is no longer surprised with Davis’ ability to hit those mammoth opposite-field shots, but he still finds himself admiring it.
“Those are the ones that are probably most impressive,” Melvin said before Wednesday’s game. “He hit one last year in Texas right down the right-field line about 25 rows up. You just don’t see that.”
Davis has topped 30 home runs for a second consecutive season.
“He continues to do it. He’s not a guy that says, ‘I gotta hit X amount of home runs,’ ” Melvin said. “What he’s trying to do on a particular day is come to the ballpark and put good swings on the baseball. His numbers are very impressive.”
— Josh Phegley has seen improvements as he recovers from an oblique injury. Phegley will take batting practice the next couple of days with a rehab assignment possible for next week.
— Bobby Wahl will travel to Dallas to meet with Dr. Gregory Pearl as he seeks treatment for his shoulder injury. Pearl specializes in thoracic outlet syndrome, which occurs when blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone and the first rib are compressed.
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