Athletics

Rosales, Healy homer, A's hold off Mariners for fifth straight win

Rosales, Healy homer, A's hold off Mariners for fifth straight win

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Adam Rosales got counsel on leading off from Chris Young when they were Oakland teammates in 2013.

"He's like, just keep it the same, if not be more aggressive because it's either the first or second pitch of the ballgame is the best pitch you'll see that day," Rosales said. "Be ready."

When Ariel Miranda served up a splitter down the middle, Rosales pounced on the 1-1 pitch.

Rosales and Ryon Healy each homered in the first inning, Jharel Cotton pitched six innings of two-run ball and the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.

The A's two hottest hitters quickly got to Miranda (1-2). Rosales hit his first leadoff homer since May 3, 2013, then made his usual sprint around the bases.

"He brings a lot of energy to the table," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

The A's fed off that energy, and two batters later, Healy hit a two-run shot, his third this season and first since April 6.

Cotton (2-2) gave up two runs, six hits, two walks and hit a batter.

"I was talking to myself on the mound, saying `attack, attack, attack, stay convicted, no matter what,'" Cotton said.

Ryan Madson got four outs for his first save.

Miranda allowed four runs and seven hits in three-plus inning in his worst start of the season, failing to pitch at least five innings for the first time in three starts.

Rosales is 6 for 17 with two homers and a double during the A's win streak, and Healy is 9 for 17 over his last five games after going 6 for 40 in his previous 10.

The Mariners fell to 1-9 on the road. Their sputtering offense had nine hits Saturday, offering some encouragement to a team that's hitting .195 away from home.

"Sometimes you're good at home, sometimes you're bad on the road and sometimes you're good on the road and sometimes you're bad at home" said Robinson Cano, who hit his third homer. "It was the same way last year. We just have to keep fighting."

Seattle cut it to 4-3 on Kyle Seager's pinch-hit, RBI triple in the eighth. Seager, mired in a slump all month, came into the game batting .233 with no home runs in 60 at-bats and was 3 for 16 over his last five games.

Madson struck out Mitch Haniger swinging to end the game after Jarrod Dyson singled and stole second with two outs in the ninth.

SPLASH HITS

The A's wore Golden State Warriors jerseys during batting practice on Saturday for a second straight day. The A's announced on Twitter that they plan to auction the jerseys with the proceeds going to charity.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Steve Cishek, who had offseason hip surgery, hasn't been sharp in two rehab appearances. "He's kind going through his spring training right now," manager Scott Servais said.

Athletics: CF Rajai Davis was out of the lineup for a second straight day with a hamstring injury. Manager Bob Melvin said he expects the speedster to be on the field soon and doesn't anticipate him going on the disabled list.

UP NEXT

Mariners RHP Yovani Gallardo is winless through his first three starts. He's 0-5 with a 5.29 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland. ... RHP Andrew Triggs (3-0) is yet to allow an earned run through a team-record 17 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs and six hits in his only appearance against Seattle, a two-inning relief stint last year.

What Matt Olson injury means for A's offense, defense at first base

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AP/USATSI

What Matt Olson injury means for A's offense, defense at first base

The A's fears became a reality Friday when Gold Glove first baseman Matt Olson had to undergo surgery on his right hand.

No timetable has been provided for Olson's return, but a 2018 article in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine which studied similar procedures suggests he will likely miss three to seven weeks.

This is obviously a huge loss for Oakland. Beyond Olson's terrific defense, the 24-year-old provided tremendous power in the middle of the lineup.

Last season, Olson slashed .247/.335/.453 with 29 home runs and 84 RBI. That production won't be easy to replace, but the A's do have some reasonable options.

Platoon players Mark Canha and Chad Pinder can both play first base, and carry plenty of power in their bats. Canha clubbed 17 home runs and 22 doubles last year in just 365 at-bats. Pinder, meanwhile, hit 28 homers in 580 at-bats over the last two seasons.

Another option for the A's is to move Jurickson Profar to first base -- where he played 24 games last year -- and start Franklin Barreto at second. Barreto is coming off a terrific spring, hitting .375 (12-for-32) with a home run, four doubles, three RBI, five walks, and eight runs scored.

Barreto now has a great chance to make the 25-man roster in Olson's place. The 23-year-old has long been considered one of the A's top prospects, but has never had a chance to get consistent playing time in the big leagues. Oakland moved him from second base to the outfield this spring, but now a return to second makes sense.

[RELATED: Can A's regroup after rough beginning to season?]

The A's are fortunate to have enough offensive depth to survive the loss of Olson, but the biggest impact will likely show up on defense. Olson's height and scooping ability at first base will be incredibly hard to replace.

Nonetheless, Oakland showed the ability to overcome injury adversity last season. The A's just have to do it again this year.

A's first baseman Matt Olson undergoes surgery on his right hand

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AP

A's first baseman Matt Olson undergoes surgery on his right hand

The A's announced on Friday that 2018 Gold Glove first baseman Matt Olson underwent successful right hamate excision surgery on his right hand. The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Steven Shin:

Olson left Thursday's game against the Mariners in Japan due to some discomfort in his right hand as he was having some trouble gripping his bat. 

While we are unsure how long Olson will be out, this article in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine states similar injuries could sideline players from three to seven weeks with the median time ranging around five weeks.

For now, the A's do have Mark Canha who can play first base. Jurickson Profar is always an option as well since he can play anywhere. But he covers so much range in the middle of the infield, picturing him anywhere else but second base seems strange.

We knew this was looking like bad news when it happened, but now that we know for sure, the A's need to figure out a more direct plan knowing the team is without their first baseman and a very powerful bat to start out the season.