Cruising with a 3-0 lead in the third inning, Erasmo Ramirez had an opportunity to nail down Seattle’s first 5-1 road trip since May, 2011. But Ramirez greased the Mariners’ second blown lead of the season by allowing a three-run homer to Brandon Moss and then came apart in the fifth Sunday in a 6-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum.
The Mariners finished an abbreviated road trip (one game postponed) with a 4-2 record after going 3-0 in Anaheim and 1-2 in Oakland. After taking Monday off, they open the home season Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels.
Although not nearly as sharp as he was earlier in the week in defeating the Angels in Anaheim, Ramirez seemed in command when he took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third. But following singles by Eric Sogard, Oakland’s No. 9 hitter, and Jed Lowrie, Ramirez surrendered the bomb to Moss.
The Mariners never recovered. Ramirez gave up two more runs in the fifth and the Mariners’ offense failed. Yoenis Cespedes capped Oakland’s scoring in the eighth with a solo shot off Seattle reliever Yoervis Medina.
Leadoff hitter Abraham Almonte gave Seattle a 1-0 lead in the second inning when, with two outs, he singled home Dustin Ackley, who singled and advanced to second on an error by first baseman Daric Barton. Brad Miller’s RBI single scored Michael Saunders, who hit into a fielder’s choice.
Robinson Cano led off the third with a double, took second on starter Sonny Gray’s wild pitch and scored when Justin Smoak singled.
In the fifth, Sogard singled off Ramirez and stole second. Coco Crisp walked and Sogard took third on a wild pitch. After Josh Donaldson reached on an infield single, scoring Sogard, Chris Young replaced Ramirez. Jed Lowrie’s fielder’s choice scored Crisp, giving Oakland a 5-3 lead.
Sonny Gray allowed six hits over six innings with three strikeouts and two walks for the victory.
NOTES: Michael Saunders, getting the start in right field, went 2-for-4 and had Seattle’s only multi-hit game . . . The Mariners went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position . . . Chris Young, Seattle’s No. 5 starter who has yet to start due to the postponement Thursday, got in his first work of the season, pitching two scoreless innings . . . Reliever Dominic Leone, a 16th-round June pick by the Mariners in 2012, made his major league debut for Seattle in the seventh inning. He gave up a hit and a walk but did not allow a run. He recorded his first MLB out by striking out Coco Crisp.
NEXT: James Paxton (1-0, 0.00) opens for Seattle opposite the LHP Hector Santiago (0-1, 7.20). Paxton defeated Santiago Wednesday in Anaheim as the Mariners swept the season-opening series 3-0.