Instant Analysis: Alonso, Valencia burn former team, A's drop second straight
Alonso, Valencia get revenge
OAKLAND — The A’s played to the theme of their season Tuesday, using the Coliseum as a home run launching pad.
Instead of paving the way to another home victory, however, the A’s had the rug yanked out from under them courtesy of a couple former teammates.
Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer off Daniel Mengden, then Danny Valencia hit a go-ahead three-run blast off Ryan Dull in the seventh as the Mariners reeled off a 6-3 victory, their second win in as many nights at the Coliseum.
Marcus Semien led off the bottom of the first with a home run. They trailed 2-1 in the sixth when Khris Davis put them ahead with a two-run shot to right-center. Those accounted for the A’s 127th and 128th homers at the Coliseum, breaking the Oakland record of 126 held by the 2000 club.
But Valencia, dealt to Seattle in the offseason for right-hander Paul Blackburn, sank Oakland’s hopes with his three-run homer off Dull. Both his and Alonso’s homer came on 0-2 counts.
TYING HIS MARK:
Davis’ two-run shot was his 42nd homer, tying his career-high total from last season. He tagged a 1-0 fastball from lefty James Paxton and sent a laser into the seats in right-center. It was Davis’ 20th go-ahead homer of the season, the most by an Athletic since Jose Canseco had 20 in 1991.
NOT QUITE ENOUGH:
Daniel Mengden went six-plus innings for the A’s but wound up taking the loss and owning a line that didn’t reflect how well he pitched. He wound up charged four runs, two of those coming on the homer Dull allowed in the seventh. Mengden (2-2) gave up five hits and walked three, but he was helped by two ground-ball double plays and a couple of excellent outfield catches from Mark Canha and Jake Smolinski.
SEASON CUT SHORT:
Manager Bob Melvin said first baseman Matt Olson (strained hamstring) and center fielder Boog Powell (bruised left knee) will miss the final five games. For Olson, it’s the end of a torrid run that began in early August. The rookie crammed 24 home runs into just 59 games this season. That included a well-publicized stretch starting Aug. 27 in which he went deep 16 times in a 24-game span. Olson spent six separate stints with the big club this season, hitting Olson .259 overall with a .352 on-base percentage and an outstanding 1.003 OPS over his 59 games. Not surprisingly, Melvin said Olson is very deserving of starting next season as the A’s everyday first baseman.
COTTON SHUT DOWN:
Despite an MRI on his elbow that came back clean, Jharel Cotton won’t make his final scheduled start Friday. The A’s are taking caution with their rookie starter, who burst on the scene with an excellent September last year but finishes this season 9-10 with a 5.58 ERA.
“There are times he looks like one of the better pitchers in the league, and other times when he struggles some,” Melvin said. “It’s gonna be all about consistency with him, consistent maintenance and ritual going into each and every start. Playing the mental game a little bit more, the expectations for himself.”
Raul Alcantara will start in Cotton’s spot Friday at Texas.