Felix Hernandez turned in another quality start despite not having his best stuff. He still lost a second straight decision for the first time this season.
Oakland rookie Kendall Graveman did King Felix one better Saturday, tossing seven innings as the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 2-0, Hernandez’s first loss here in nearly seven years.
The A’s only scored twice off Hernandez (10-5) but peppered him for 10 hits — the most he has allowed this season.
“He battled all day,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He was up in the zone a little bit. But he limited the damage pretty good and gave us a chance to win.”
Hernandez, who struck out six and walked two, had gone 13 consecutive starts without losing at the Coliseum, matching the longest streak by an opposing pitcher. The loss — his first in Oakland since Sept. 19, 2008 — was just his third in 21 career starts at this aging facility.
“He’s just handed it to us here at home,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s not like he pitched poorly. He didn’t have his best stuff and wiggled out of some jams.”
The A’s loaded the bases against him with no outs in the second and Hernandez stranded all three. The A’s left runners in scoring position in three other innings.
“It was tough today. I just kept trying to make good pitches, especially with runners in scoring position,” Hernandez said. “Today they found the holes. That’s the way it goes. It was just command of my fastball.”
Meanwhile, the Mariners struggled against Graveman (6-4), who allowed five hits to earn his third straight win.
“We hit the ball better than the scoreboard shows,” Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison said. “It’s frustrating for sure. He wasn’t overpowering but he did a good job of mixing it up and hitting his spots.”
Drew Pomeranz pitched the eighth and Tyler Clippard worked the ninth for his 15th save to complete the six-hit shutout.
Oakland had not beaten Hernandez at all since Sept. 27, 2013, but jumped on the 2010 AL Cy Young winner early.
Billy Burns singled on the first pitch Hernandez threw and then stole second. He scored when Ben Zobrist singled.
“You have to play in on Burns,” Morrison said. “And then he hits one off the plate and it bounces over my head. He ends up scoring.”
Graveman was just as good when he retired three straight after giving up consecutive singles to Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz in the seventh.
The A’s added an insurance run in the seventh. Burns singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Zobrist.
Mariners: OF James Jones, RHP Mayckol Guaipe and LHP Davis Rollins were all called up from Triple-A Tacoma before the game. LHP Roenis Elias, who took the loss on Friday, was sent down along with LHP Vidal Nuno and RHP Tom Wilhelmsen.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray threw off a mound for the first time since being hospitalized with salmonella and could start Tuesday’s road opener against the New York Yankees.
Mariners: LHP Mike Montgomery (3-2) carries an 18-inning scoreless streak into Sunday’s series finale and will attempt to become just the second pitcher in franchise history to throw three consecutive shutouts. Hall of Famer Randy Johnson did it in 1994.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (0-1) will make his second straight start in place of Gray.