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OAK@SEA: Sogard launches a three-run shot to right

SEATTLE -- The A's were looking for a dose of momentum in Sunday's series finale, enough to tuck away in their pockets before embarking on a three-hour flight from Seattle to Anaheim, where they'll open a four-game set with the Angels on Monday.

It took five innings, but they got it. Unfortunately, the A's lost it minutes later, unable to ever reel it in again in a 5-3 Jackie Robinson Day loss to the Mariners, their second in as many days following an exciting victory over King Felix and Co. on Friday.

Third baseman Eric Sogard's game-tying, three-run shot in the fifth -- which halted Oakland's 13-inning scoreless streak -- was just what a sluggish A's offense needed. But the team's defense proved faulty in the bottom half of the frame, allowing Seattle to score two unearned runs.

The A's never recovered and, as a result, departed Seattle with a 2-5 season record against a Mariners team they can finally wave goodbye to until June.

"A lot of times, games will have momentum shifts -- and there were a couple today," manager Bob Melvin said. "We didn't do anything offensively early on, and then we get a couple guys on and Sogard hits a homer, and we didn't have a good defensive inning after that."

"That was unfortunate," Sogard said.

Oakland starter Graham Godfrey was around for all five of Seattle's runs, going six innings and allowing six hits -- two of them home runs -- with one walk and three strikeouts. Brendan Ryan's two-run homer in the second gave the Mariners a two-run advantage, and Justin Smoak's solo shot in the third extended their lead to three.

The A's, meanwhile, stayed quiet against right-hander Blake Beavan through the first four frames, reaching base just three times, before Sogard's home run -- his first of the season -- knotted the game at 3.

Godfrey, looking to keep his team in the game, issued a one-out walk to Chone Figgins in the bottom of the fifth to bring up Dustin Ackley. The Mariners' second baseman grounded a ball to Jemile Weeks, who made a poor flip to second rather than opting for an easy out No. 2 at first, as both runners were safe with just one out.

"I just made a decision to try to get it to second," said Weeks, who was tagged with an error. "I probably should have gone to first. I saw him cross me, and my thought process is always to go [for] two. But the ball didn't really dictate two and I tried to force the issue, ended up being the wrong decision."

"He's gotta make sure he can get the out there," Melvin said. "If not, you go to first base. I think he felt like he could get the out. He knows you have to get one out at the very least there, and that didn't happen."

Ichiro Suzuki took advantage of the miscue, lining an RBI double down the right-field line seconds later, forcing Godfrey's inning to continue with runners on second and third. The A's righty, desperately in need of a ground ball, got just that from Smoak right in front of him. But he bobbled it and couldn't make the play at the plate on a running Ackley, instead having to throw to first for the out.

"It was spinning real hard," Godfrey said. "I lost it for a second, and I wasn't really in a great position to field it. I think that's what it comes down to. I figured he was probably going on contact, so I was trying to tell myself, 'Field the ball first,' but it didn't work out."

Though the run ultimately represented nothing more than insurance, it was one Melvin believed his club shouldn't have allowed.

"That was the intent, was to go home," Melvin said. "It looked to me like if he fields that thing cleanly, there was a definite play at the plate."

The A's couldn't get anything going the rest of the way and, for the first time since 1978, have tallied fewer than 10 hits in each of their first 10 games. Sogard, having done his part, is expected to remain in the lineup for Monday's opener in Southern California against righty Jered Weaver.

The A's entered Sunday with a .200 average, a number that was raised -- barely -- to .201 by game's end.

"I think we're getting close offensively," Melvin said. "It looks like our at-bats are getting better, so I'm hopeful we're breaking out of it."

Added Weeks: "It's frustrating. We feel like we've been in a lot of games. It's just about trying to pull it all together, offensively and defensively. Everything has to be crisp." Comments