- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - Oakland ace Sonny Gray did his part in trying to reach 5-0 to start the season. Oakland’s bullpen failed again to finish off another solid performance by its starter.

It’s not a surprise why the Athletics are tied with the most bullpen losses in baseball.

Logan Morrison homered on the first pitch of the 11th inning from Oakland reliever Dan Otero, and the Seattle Mariners rallied to beat the Athletics 4-3 on Friday night.

Otero (2-2) had just finished his warmup pitches and left a 91 mph pitch over the middle of the plate to open the inning. Morrison didn’t miss, hitting his fifth homer of the season deep into the seats in right-center field. It was Seattle’s first game-ending homer since Kyle Seager in April 2014 against Houston.

“It’s been a tough year for him,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Otero. “He’s not the only guy though.”

Seattle rallied from a 3-1 deficit against the Oakland bullpen, scoring twice with two outs in the seventh inning on consecutive RBI doubles from Brad Miller and Robinson Cano to draw even.

The A’s are now 1-9 in one-run games this season and have the most one-run losses baseball.

“Bottom line, you have to get out there and score runs for your guy, and Sonny gives you an A-plus effort not matter what and gets out of jams,” Oakland’s Josh Reddick said. “We just have to have somebody step it up out there.”

Reddick hit a two-run homer for Oakland in the fifth inning, but Oakland managed just three baserunners the rest of the way - one hit batter, one walk and one reaching on an error. Reddick’s homer was his fifth of the season and gave the A’s a 3-1 lead. Billy Butler also had a two-out RBI single in the third inning.

Six Seattle relievers pitched six innings of relief and allowed just one hit.

“They’re pretty resilient. They’re pretty tough,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Gray was trying to continue his dominance at Safeco Field. He was 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four career starts at the stadium before taking the mound Friday.

But Seattle made him work and was able to drive up his pitch count. Gray was pulled after the sixth inning having thrown 104 pitches. He struck out nine, allowed only one earned run and left with the lead.

“Obviously I want to go deeper into that game, but they did a really good job of fouling pitching off and working counts,” Gray said.

Seattle pulled even in the seventh scoring twice with two outs. Miller’s RBI double off Evan Scribner scored Dustin Ackley to get to 3-2 and Cano followed with his first career hit in seven at-bats against Fernando Abad, pulling a double just fair down the right field line to score Miller.

Oakland missed a chance to take the lead in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Billy Burns opened the inning getting hit on the foot by a Charlie Furbush breaking ball. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and reached third with one out after Reddick’s deep fly out. Furbush intentionally walked Billy Butler and struck out Stephen Vogt looking for the second out. Mark Lowe replaced Furbush and got pinch-hitter Mark Canha to ground into a force out and strand Burns at third.


Right-hander Jarrod Parker was pulled from his outing with Triple-A Nashville on Friday night with an apparent elbow injury. Parker is coming back from Tommy John surgery, but there was no update on his status.

“Until he sees a specialist we’re not 100 percent sure,” Melvin said.


Athletics: LHP Sean Doolittle (left shoulder strain) threw to hitters during pregame on Friday for the first time since being shut down during spring training. … Ben Zobrist (knee) will begin taking batting practice when the A’s return home next week.

Mariners: RHP Tom Wilhelmsen was activated from the 15-day DL (hyperextended elbow) without needing a rehab assignment. Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said Wilhelmsen threw so well in his simulated game earlier this week he didn’t need the rehab outing in the minors.


Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (1-2) looks to regain his form from earlier in the season. Hahn is 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in his last two outings since missing a start with a blister on his pitching hand.

Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ (2-1) has been Seattle’s most consistent starter not named Felix Hernandez. But Happ struggled in his last start against Houston giving up six earned runs.

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