OAKLAND, Calif. — With his star center fielder in the training room having been with an aching lower back and his starting pitcher, who is one of the best in baseball at throwing strikes, unable to find the strike zone and allowing the Oakland A’s to turn Seattle’s three-run lead into a two-run deficit in an interminable third inning, a frustrated Scott Servais glanced skyward with his arms crossed for a moment.
Was he counting the number of fans in the largely empty concrete mausoleum?
Was he asking the baseball gods what he did to deserve such a curse?
Perhaps he was checking to see if the cloudless blue sky in the Bay Area was indeed falling on him and his scuffling team.
Would this awful road trip turn abysmal with yet another loss, which meant getting swept by the remnants of the Oakland A’s? The panic and pressure of possibly blowing their expected spot in the postseason would only increase.
Nope, Jarred Kelenic wouldn’t let that happen.
Yes, the one-time prospect and forgotten foundational piece of this team’s future success, offered a tantalizing glimpse of what he can still be as a player and what he could mean to this team in the final weeks of the season in Seattle’s much-needed 9-5 victory over the Oakland A’s.
Recalled from Tacoma on Wednesday and starting left field on Thursday, Kelenic erased the A’s 5-3 lead by himself. Kelenic crushed a solo homer off Oakland starter Adrian Martinez in the fourth inning and laced an RBI double in the game-changing sixth inning to tie the game at 5-5.
With two outs, Adam Frazier gave the Mariners a lead for good. He punched a ground ball down the third base line for a double that scored two runs.