OAKLAND, Calif. — Joe Wieland had successfully weathered the first-inning storm of hits, runs and nerves. And his teammates had done enough on offense to turn what seemed like a loss into yet another come-from-behind win opportunity.
But that possibility and the Seattle Mariners’ six-game winning streak ended on Friday night at sparsely populated Oakland Coliseum.
Given a fresh outlook in the sixth inning and having retired eight straight batters coming into it, Wieland never made it out of the bottom of the sixth, giving up three runs—the difference in the Mariners’ 6-3 loss to Oakland on Friday night.
Seattle dropped to 60-54 and fell two games behind Boston for the second wild-card spot.
Wieland started the bottom of the sixth with the score tied at 3. He then gave up a soft single to Marcus Semien and bloop single to Stephen Vogt. Khris Davis, who had homered off Wieland earlier in the game, launched a shot to left-center that bounced off the wall. It was only a single because Semien had to hold at second base to see if the ball was caught by Leonys Martin.
With the bases loaded, manager Scott Servais elected to stay with Wieland to face Yonder Alonso. But a two-strike changeup out over the plate turned into a two-run single to right field to make it 5-3. Servais pulled Wieland for Drew Storen. But he couldn’t stop the damage, giving up a single to Danny Valencia that scored Davis—a run charged to Wieland.
He allowed six runs in five-plus innings on nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
The Mariners had no more rally magic after that outburst, going scoreless against the A’s bullpen.
It wasn’t an ideal beginning for Wieland in his first big-league appearance in almost two years. Wieland got leadoff hitter Coco Crisp to fly out, but then gave up a single to Semien, an RBI double into the right-field corner to Stephen Vogt and a two-run, opposite-field homer to Davis.
Wieland settled down and gave up no runs the next four innings while the Mariners offense chipped away against A’s starter Shawn Manaea.
After squandering leadoff runners each of the first three innings with inning-ending double plays, the Mariners broke through in the fifth on Kyle Seager’s 22nd homer of the season—a solo shot to right field. They tied it an inning later. Ketel Marte led off with a single and scored on Shawn O’Malley’s triple to right-center. Franklin Gutierrez tied the score with a deep sacrifice fly to right field that allowed O’Malley to tag up and score easily.