Bullpen rises to the occasion vs. M's

A's relief corps has 9 1/3 scoreless frames this series

Bullpen rises to the occasion vs. M's

SEATTLE -- The A's fell victim to yet another one-run loss Tuesday, a 6-5 defeat to the Mariners representing their 30th of the season, but not because of bullpen blunders that have affected so many of these close outcomes.

Rather, it was the bullpen that gave the club every opportunity to come out on top this time. The A's got 3 1/3 scoreless innings from Fernando Abad and Fernando Rodriguez in relief of right-hander Jesse Chavez, who was done in by consecutive three-run frames.

"The bullpen kept us in the game," Billy Butler said. "We had some opportunities, we just didn't get it done."

After jumping out to a 5-0 lead, the A's found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-5 score and stranded eight base runners over their final seven innings while the bullpen went to work for a second straight day.

Oakland relievers, who entered the game with an American League-worst 4.51 ERA, have now strung together 9 1/3 straight scoreless innings dating to the fourth inning of Monday's series-opening victory that saw starter Felix Doubront depart after two innings with a right foot contusion.

Five of those relievers have been asked to work more than one inning this series.

"They've been great, and going multiple innings, too, throwing a lot of pitches and keeping us right there," manager Bob Melvin said. "The bullpen has really been great. They've really held them down the last couple days."

It was Abad who entered with two aboard and two outs in the fifth inning, and the lefty made quick work of Logan Morrison, striking him out on three pitches. Abad, who hasn't allowed an earned run in 17 of his past 18 games, fanned two more in the sixth, working around Ketel Marte's two-out triple.

Rodriguez also navigated through traffic, stranding four baserunners in his two scoreless innings of work.

"We were trying to get the lead back tonight, fight our way back in there, and they kept giving us opportunities," Butler said. "That's big for us. Hopefully they can build on that."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.