OAKLAND, Calif. -- The A's lost their third straight game, 5-3 to the Seattle Mariners on Friday. They move to 3-4 on the season.
The A's were batting a collective .207 entering the A's first road game of the 2020 season. They'd run into some tough pitching from the Colorado Rockies' two-game visit, and perhaps benefitted a bit from some lucky hits and a rocky Shohei Ohtani return to the mound against the Los Angeles Angels.
That shaky average took a hit, and the offense looked to have gotten colder on this trip up North.
Mariners right-handed starter Taijuan Walker sliced through the A's lineup, holding them to one hit over seven innings.
Much fuss has been had over designated hitter Khris Davis' 0-for-15 start. His mechanics are there, hitting coach Darren Bush said Wednesday, but his timing is still off. He sat out a second straight game, with Mark Canha filling in at DH in Seattle. Davis' early struggles are perhaps inflated by the role he plays -- if he's not hitting, the A's have the personnel to take him out and open up the lineup for some defensive advantages.
The truth is, Davis' struggles mirror those of the rest of this powerful offense. While most other teams weren't slowed by the shortened camp, the A's bats have yet to find any collective rhythm.
Success came in the eighth once Walker left the game. Marcus Semien's triple in the eighth inning scored Stephen Piscotty and Tony Kemp, who reached the corners against Mariners off-kilter reliever Bryan Shaw. Ramon Laureano's sac fly gave the A's their third run.
Sean Manaea looked almost cleared for a breakthrough. His fastball topped out at 92 mph, his slider had a the crisp bite he'd found in his few starts late in 2019. The left-hander had retired nine straight batters using a tidy 33 pitches.
Then trouble came when the Mariners got a second look at him. J.P. Crawford's leadoff single led to Kyle Lewis' single. Kyle Seager sent them home with a two-run double down the first base line. Matt Chapman's second error of the season scored Seager from second on a swinging bunt. By the fifth inning, Manaea was staring at runners on the corners with just one out -- his stellar start all but null.
In relief, J.B. Wendelken overthrew a potential double-play ball to score and Lewis' second hit scored a pair of runs to give Seattle a 5-0 lead. Near insurmountable given the A's ice-cold offense.