SEATTLE — Robbie Ray was tagged for home runs by Shea Langeliers, Cristian Pache and Nick Allen, and the Seattle Mariners‘ hopes of hosting the AL wild-card series took a serious blow with a 10-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
The hangover from the excitement of Seattle clinching its first postseason berth in 21 years two days earlier seemed to finally hit the Mariners on Sunday. Oakland starter James Kaprielian no-hit the Mariners for 5 2/3 innings before giving up a two-out single to Ty France in the sixth inning. Kaprielian (5-9) struck out seven, and beat Seattle for the third time this season.
Langeliers added a second homer in the ninth inning, a three-run shot.
Seattle’s loss combined with Toronto’s victory over Boston pushed the Blue Jays’ lead to 2 1/2 games in the race for the top wild-card spot and home-field advantage for the three-game series.
Seattle does hold the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays, but the Mariners’ only hope now of catching Toronto relies on a significant amount of help from Baltimore. The Orioles must take two of three games from Toronto, and Seattle must sweep a four-game series from Detroit.
Seattle still has a 1 1/2 game lead over Tampa Bay.
Ray’s lackluster outing didn’t help his case to be part of Seattle’s three-man rotation for the wild-card series. Ray (12-12) failed to make it through the sixth inning, allowing five earned runs for the second time in his past four starts.
The three home runs allowed to the A’s tied a season high that came in his second start with the Mariners back on April 13 in Chicago. He’s given up at least two homers in three of his last five outings.
Ray walked three, all coming in the second inning when he walked the bases loaded with no outs. He escaped that jam without giving up a run, helped in part by a terrific defensive play by catcher Luis Torrens to get a force out at home.
But it was a shaky all-around performance from the lefty.
Langeliers’ homer was his fifth of the season. Pache’s third home of the year came after a throwing error by Seattle’s Abraham Toro allowed Jonah Bride to reach. And Allen’s fourth homer was a two-run shot with two outs in the sixth inning and ended Ray’s outing.
Langeliers’ second homer in the ninth came off Penn Murfee, but he should have been out of the inning after Seth Brown’s pop fly fell in front of Jesse Winker.
Winker hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth as Seattle avoided the shutout.
Kaprielian continued to post terrific numbers against the Mariners. In his last four starts against Seattle, Kaprielian has allowed three runs and nine hits in 24 innings pitched. Kaprielian has a 2.80 ERA and .178 batting average against in eight career starts against Seattle.
Mariners: All signs continue to point toward CF Julio Rodriguez (lower back strain) being activated off the injured list and returning to the lineup on Monday. Rodriguez was set to go through an extensive workout on Sunday with the expectation he would be back in the lineup Monday when the Mariners open a series with the Tigers, manager Scott Servais said.
Athletics: RHP Adrian Martinez (4-6, 6.08) makes his last start of the season as the A’s open a three-game series against the Angels. Martinez is 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA in his last four starts.
Mariners: RHP George Kirby (8-4, 3.21) makes the final regular season start of his rookie season. Kirby allowed one run over six innings in his last start against Texas.