The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Athletics starter Chavez escapes injury but Oakland misses chances in 8-3 loss to Seattle

  • Print

OAKLAND, Calif. - Jesse Chavez's reflexes took over when a screaming liner came straight for his head. Amazingly, he stopped the ball on a play that sent him to the ground.

Chavez escaped what might have been a frightening injury during Oakland's 8-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night, when the Athletics again missed key scoring chances late in the game.

Seattle rookie Roenis Elias struck out six while pitching into the seventh to win consecutive starts for the first time, yielding a leadoff home run in the sixth to Cuban countryman Yoenis Cespedes.

Justin Smoak drove in three runs in Seattle's season-best fourth straight victory.

"It's been something incredible," Elias said. "Everybody's together doing their job. I like my team, how they're playing baseball."

Smoak hit an RBI double and Dustin Ackley an RBI single in the first to back Elias (3-2), who followed up a 10-strikeout gem at Yankee Stadium his last time out with another impressive start once he settled down.

The Mariners jumped on Chavez (2-1) to take a quick first-inning lead for the second straight game against the A's — and Seattle scored all three of its first-inning runs with two outs on the way to its ninth win in 11 games overall.

"We're not getting the timely hits we're normally accustomed to. We're getting guys on base but we didn't cash in," A's third baseman Josh Donaldson said.

Everybody was relieved Chavez escaped harm in the fourth.

The pitcher saved himself from a hard-hit liner by Michael Saunders by catching the screamer that was going right for his face.

"It was all reflexes, I just put my glove up," Chavez said. "As soon as I let go of the pitch I saw him make contact. I've jumped out of the way at balls at my lower body, but I've never had one like that at my face before."

Making the play knocked him off his feet to end the fourth, and the small Coliseum crowd of 12,106 briefly fell silent.

"Luckily no one got hurt. I haven't seen the replay but guys said it had a chance to hit him square in the face," Saunders said.

Chavez got a double play to face the minimum in the fifth, but his night ended after allowing Mike Zunino's sixth-inning sacrifice fly following a hit batsman and a walk.

Oakland No. 9 hitter Nick Punto pulled the A's back in it with a two-run, two-out single in the second. Cespedes returned to the starting lineup after nursing a left hamstring injury to hit his fifth homer.

The A's squandered a scoring chance in the seventh against Dominic Leone, leaving the tying run on third as they again struggled with runners in scoring position.

"We're just not swinging the bats as well as we did the three days in Texas," manager Bob Melvin said. "You go through that over the course of the season. We'll swing the bats well again."

Elias allowed three runs and five hits with three walks in 6 1-3 innings in his seventh career start.

Sean Doolittle struck out all four batters he faced in relief of Chavez. But Seattle added on four unearned runs in the top of the ninth against 2013 AL saves leader Jim Johnson, who was booed off the mound when pulled by Melvin as fans headed for the exits. Smoak added a two-run single.

For Wednesday's doubleheader, Felix Hernandez will pitch Game 1 for Seattle and Erasmo Ramirez the second. Melvin didn't announce his choice for the nightcap, though Dan Straily pitches the opener.

Oakland will make right-hander Arnold Leon its 26th player for the second game but is likely to start Drew Pomeranz since he didn't pitch in relief Tuesday. The 25-year-old Leon's family was scheduled to fly in from Mexico for his likely major league debut after nine seasons in the minors.

The teams are playing two after an April 4 game was called because of a soggy field that had mistakenly gone without its tarp during a heavy rainstorm.

NOTES: A's reliever Eric O'Flaherty, on the disabled list since undergoing Tommy John surgery in the off-season, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session and could begin throwing to hitters soon, and Melvin said an announcement on the pitcher's next step would come Wednesday. ... Melvin said Triple-A catcher Stephen Vogt, an A's playoff star last October currently on Sacramento's disabled list, is close to returning from a strained oblique muscle.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google