Taijuan Walker made one bad pitch. Chris Taylor’s two bad throws were even more costly for the Seattle Mariners.
Walker was excellent until giving up a leadoff homer in the seventh inning, Taylor’s two errors led to four unearned runs in the eighth and the Mariners lost 5-0 to the Oakland Athletics on Monday night, ending Seattle’s four-game winning streak.
“Taijuan was tough tonight,” said Stephen Vogt, who drove a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall off Walker for his fourth homer.
“Fortunately, I was able to get one of the only mistakes he made all night and I didn’t miss it. You’ve got to tip your cap to both those guys for the way they threw the ball tonight. Fortunately Rich (Hill) was just a little, little bit better.”
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Taylor, called up Sunday to replace injured Ketel Marte, enabled the A’s to break it open in the eighth with his two wild throws from short.
Taylor threw past first base on Marcus Semien’s bouncer for a two-base error. After Chris Coghlan struck out, Jake Smolinski lined an RBI single to left to make it 2-0.
Coco Crisp then reached on the next error by Taylor, and later, Danny Valencia lined Joel Peralta’s first pitch into the left field corner for a two-run double that made it 5-0.
“I knew he was a fast runner, so I wanted to make a good throw over there and I sailed it,” Taylor said. “Then that second ball was kind of one of those tweeners where I was thinking about going to second and I didn’t really keep my eye on the ball as long as I should have to make sure that I catch it.”
Hill (7-3) escaped a no-out, bases loaded jam in the second and settled in for eight innings to win his fourth straight start as Oakland snapped a four-game skid.
Walker has not won in five starts since his last victory on April 25. He allowed a leadoff single in the first to Crisp, but then retired 16 straight before Smolinski’s one-out bloop single in the sixth. Walker allowed five runs — one earned — on four hits in 7 1/3 innings, his longest outing of the season.
“It’s baseball. It’s going to happen,” Walker said. “People are going to make errors. People are going to walk, get base hits. Chris is an outstanding shortstop. He’s going to save a lot of runs for us. He’s going to make some great plays for us.”
MARINERS’ HOME WOES CONTINUE
Seattle was coming off a three-game sweep of the Reds that capped a 5-1 road trip, improving the Mariners road record to 18-7. With the loss to Oakland, however, the Mariners fell to 8-11 at home.
MARTIN CONTINUES STREAK
Seattle’s Leonys Martin extended his hitting streak to seven games with his first-inning single. He is batting .542 (13-for-24) over that span with three home runs, four RBIs, five walks and five runs scored.
A’s: OF Josh Reddick will not need surgery on his fractured left thumb. Melvin said the injury is on the tip of the thumb, rather than at a joint, and there’s no displacement. … RHP Henderson Alvarez, who experienced discomfort last week in his surgically repaired shoulder, was cleared to begin playing catch on Tuesday. “My feeling is he wouldn’t be playing catch tomorrow if there was something structurally in there that they had a problem with,” Melvin said.
Mariners: Marte, placed on the 15-day DL after spraining his left thumb on Saturday, said his thumb is improving, but he’s still unable to grip a bat. “It feels a lot better,” Marte said. “It’s serious, because if you can’t do anything with your hand, you can’t play baseball.” Manager Scott Servais said he did not anticipate Marte doing any type of baseball activity on this homestand.
A’s: Right-hander Kendall Graveman (1-6, 5.48 ERA) is 0-5 with a 7.92 ERA in his last five starts. Opponents are batting .361 against him over that span. He is 1-11 in his last 16 starts dating back to July 10 of last season. He has allowed nine home runs in 19 1/3 innings on the road this season.
Mariners: Right-hander Nathan Karns (4-1, 3.33 ERA) has allowed three runs or fewer in six of his first eight starts, lasting at least five innings each time out. He has not lost since his first start on April 9.