SEATTLE – J.P. Crawford and Ty France hit back-to-back home runs in a three-run fifth inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat Oakland 3-2 Tuesday night to send the Athletics to their sixth straight loss and 14th in 16 games.
Oakland dropped to 10-40, which projects to a 32-130 record. That would be the most losses for any team in a season since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders went 20-134.
The A’s matched the 1932 Boston Red Sox and 1897 St. Louis Browns for the fourth-worst 50-game start in big league history at 10-40, ahead of only the 1897 Louisville Colonels at 7-43, and the 1899 Spiders and 1904 Washington Senators at 9-41.
A controversial fan interference call hurt the Mariners in the eighth. After France was hit on the left wrist by a Trevor May fastball and replaced by pinch-runner Sam Haggerty, Julio Rodríguez hit a foul fly down the line.
Ramón Laureano settled under the ball and was about to catch it, but a fan raised an arm out of the stands and over the field. Though the fan didn’t touch the ball, first base umpire Carlos Torres decided the fan interfered with Laureano’s view and called Rodríguez out, a decision upheld in a video review.
“It’s a strange call, you don’t see it called too often on the field,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Sometimes it doesn’t get called and the other team takes it to review and then it goes from there, but it certainly was worth a challenge. We don’t want to take the bat away from Julio in that spot.”
France laid on the ground for several minutes after getting hit by May’s errant fastball earlier in the inning, and left the game after walking to first base. Initial x-rays said that France’s wrist was not fractured, but Servais said that he would likely miss at least the next couple of games as the team waits for swelling to go down.
Later in the inning, May also hit Seattle third baseman Eugenio Suarez in the back with a pitch.
“It’s a scary thing,” May said. “You don’t want to throw it by anyone’s face or anything. I don’t know (France) or Suarez personally, but I’ve played against them quite a bit. I know they’re good dudes ... You don’t want anyone to have to miss any time because you’re not very sharp.”
Laureano and Carlos Pérez hit RBI singles in the first off Marco Gonzales (4-1). who allowed five hits in six innings with four strikeouts.
“I thought we had a good gameplan,” Gonzales said. “Just some weak contact, some kind of fluky stuff happening in the first, and after that I settled in. I felt like we just attacked guys and I had confidence in my stuff and got ahead. I thought we saw the results from that.”
Tom Murphy doubled off Luis Medina (0-3) with two outs in the fifth, and Crawford tied the score one batter later with his second homer of the season. France then drove a slider 420 feet into the left-field bullpen for his third home run.
Jesús Aguilar, Gonzales’ last batter, grounded into a double play that ended the sixth, starting a streak of 11 straight Oakland outs to end the game.
“(Gonzales) made an adjustment after that first inning and we weren’t able to make the adjustment back,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “He’s a veteran pitcher and he’s out there for a reason.”
Trevor Gott, Justin Topa and Paul Sewald pitched one perfect inning each, completing a five-hitter. Sewald is now a perfect 10-for-10 in save chances this season.
Athletics: Oakland reinstated May (anxiety) from the 15-day IL, and optioned LHP Kyle Muller to Triple-A Las Vegas. Muller, the A’s opening night starter, was 1-4 with an 8.04 ERA in 10 starts.
Athletics LHP Ken Waldichuk (1-3, 6.85) will start Wednesday. He has walked five or more in each of his past three outings. Mariners rookie RHP Bryce Miller (2-1, 1.42) debuted May 2 and has 22 strikeouts and two walks in his first four starts.
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