Mariners vs A’s: Felix struggles early, M’s lose 4-3

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 25: Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 25: Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez /

After a dramatic 1-0 win last night the Mariners returned to action against the Oakland Athletics. Josh Lucas (0-0, 1.35 ERA) made his first career major league start for the A’s against Felix Hernandez (5-3, 5.53 ERA).

Lucas was shaky to start the game as the first three Mariners hitters reached base. Unfortunately, for the Mariners, Nelson Cruz grounded into a run-scoring double play and Kyle Seager struck out looking and the damage was limited to only one run.

Felix, for his part, was worse to start the game. The A’s got a first-inning sac fly from Matt Olson to drive in Matt Joyce and quickly evened things up. After it appeared Felix might work his way out after giving up only one run Stephen Piscotty blasted a double to deep right plating two runs and Dustin Fowler blooped a single into left to make the score 4-1.

Felix’s command was a problem again, his fastball was all over the place, he couldn’t locate any breaking pitches. He was a mess early in the game. Felix now has a first-inning ERA of 12.27, if the Mariners want to be serious contenders Felix must be better to start the game.

The Mariners were able to get a run back in the second. Andrew Romine singled and stole second and David Freitas drove him home. This team continues to find creative ways to score runs, but to win this one they would need more than just small ball.

After the disastrous first inning, Felix settled down and gave the Mariners 6 innings allowing 4 runs and 5 hits before turning the game over to Ryan Cook who pitched a 1, 2, 3 seventh.

The Mariners threatened in the eighth but with runners on first and second, Mitch Haniger hit into a double play. After Cruz singled sending Haniger to third Seager came to the plate. Seager swatted a double down the right-field line and the Mariners had life at 4-3. Unfortunately, Dan Vogelbach was unable to keep the rally alive as he flew out to center.

Blake Treinen dealt a perfect ninth inning sending the Mariners back to Seattle without a sweep.

It was curious that Scott Servais did not pinch run for Cruz in the eighth. Both Gordon Beckham and John Andreoli were available and each would have likely scored on Seager’s double.

Next: Travis Swaggerty: The best name in the draft

The Mariners will return home tomorrow for a 10 game homestand. James Paxton (3-1, 3.30 ERA) will take the mound against Fernando Romero (2-0, 1.65 ERA) and the Minnesota Twins.