SEATTLE (AP) — JP Crawford and Ty France hit back-to-back homers in a fifth-inning three-run, and the Seattle Mariners beat Oakland 3-2 on Tuesday night to send the Athletics to their sixth straight loss and 14th in 16 games.
Oakland fell to 10-40, which projects a 32-130 record. It would be the most losses for any team in a season since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders went 20-134.
The A’s tied the 1932 Boston Red Sox and 1897 St. Louis Browns for the fourth-worst 50-game start in Big League history at 10-40, ahead of only the 1897 Louisville Colonels in 7-43, and the 1899 and 1904 Spiders. Washington Senators at 9-41.
A controversial fan interference call hurt the Mariners in the eighth. After France was hit in the left wrist by a fastball from Trevor May and substituted for pinch runner Sam Haggerty, Julio Rodríguez hit a foul down the line.
Ramón Laureano got under the ball and was about to catch it, but a fan lifted an arm out of the stands and over the pitch. Although the fan did not touch the ball, first base umpire Carlos Torres ruled that the fan had interfered with Laureano’s sight and called out Rodríguez, a decision upheld in a video review.
“It’s a strange call, you don’t see it too often on the field,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Sometimes he doesn’t get called up and the other team revises him and then he goes from there, but it was definitely worth the challenge. We don’t want to take the bat away from Julio there.
France lay on the ground for several minutes after being hit by May’s errant fastball earlier in the inning, and left the game after walking to first base. Initial X-rays indicated France’s wrist was not fractured, but Servais said he would likely miss at least the next two games as the team waits for the swelling to subside.
Later in the inning, May also hit Seattle third baseman Eugenio Suarez in the back with a pitch.
“It’s a scary thing,” May said. “You don’t want to throw it in anyone’s face or anything. I don’t know (France) or Suarez personally, but I played quite a bit against them. I know they’re good guys… You don’t want someone running out of time because you’re not very sharp.
Laureano and Carlos Pérez hit RBI singles in the first against Marco Gonzales (4-1). who allowed five hits in six innings with four strikeouts.
“I thought we had a good game plan,” Gonzales said. “Just weak contact, kind of random stuff happening in the first one, and after that I settled in. I felt like we just attacked the guys and I was confident in my stuff and got ahead. I thought we had seen the results of that.
Tom Murphy doubled Luis Medina (0-3) with two outs in the fifth, and Crawford tied the game a batter later with his second homer of the season. France then drove a 420-foot slider into the left-field bullpen for its third homer.
Jesús Aguilar, the last batter for Gonzales, threw a double play that ended the sixth, starting an 11-game Oakland out streak to end the game.
“(Gonzales) made an adjustment after that first run and we couldn’t go back,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “He’s a veteran pitcher and he’s there for a reason.”
Trevor Gott, Justin Topa and Paul Sewald threw a perfect inning each, completing a five hit. Sewald is now a perfect 10-for-10 save chance this season.
Athletics: Oakland reinstated May (anxiety) from the 15-day IL and opted for LHP Kyle Muller at Triple-A Las Vegas. Muller, starting the A’s opening night, was 1-4 with an 8.04 ERA in 10 starts.
LHP Athletics Ken Waldichuk (1-3, 6.85) will start on Wednesday. He’s walked five or more goals in each of his last three outings. Mariners RHP rookie Bryce Miller (2-1, 1.42) made his debut May 2 and has 22 strikeouts and two walks in his first four starts.