SEATTLE -- The A's entered Tuesday night's ninth inning looking at a fifth straight heartbreaking loss, but resilience and an extra dose of home-run power led them back to a dramatic 9-6 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field.
After Kyle Seager's solo home run in the eighth gave Seattle a 5-4 lead, pinch-hitter Rajai Davis led off the ninth with a single off Mariners reliever Steve Cishek., who returned from a lengthy stint on the disabled list Monday. Matt Joyce followed with the biggest hit of the night, a two-run homer into the right-field seats that gave the A's a 6-5 lead. Later in the inning, the A's padded the lead with a three-run homer by Mark Canha off lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Canha had three hits and fell a triple short of the cycle.
"When you go through streaks like this, you've got to find some fight," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've been losing games by … a defensive play, one pitch, little things during this whole stretch, and at some point in time, you have to overcome it and find some grit and do some good things late in games when we're behind, and we finally did it tonight. So, hopefully this is something we can build on."
Nelson Cruz gave the Mariners an early 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the first, but starter Chase De Jong allowed four runs over six innings.
"Our bullpen was thin tonight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Putting Cishek in that spot … it's tough. He hasn't been back here in a long time, but he's been out there before. You're just hoping you can get through it, and unfortunately, we just didn't get the final three outs and put the nail in the coffin, because our guys really did battle after not really doing much the first six innings. So, it's disappointing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Ninth-inning issues: The Mariners changed their closer's role prior to the game, then saw their new plan struggle right away. Servais revealed that Edwin Diaz would be taken out of the ninth-inning role -- for now -- to work on command, and the Mariners would close by committee. The first one to get the chance, Cishek, entered with a 5-4 lead, but gave it up without recording an out.
"It's either the best job in the world when things are going well, because your team's relying on you and you secure the win and it's a great feeling, and it's also the worst, because when stuff like this happens, your team's relying on you and you fall short, especially after a huge homer by Seags," Cishek said. "You've just got to find a way to put it in the past and come back ready to go tomorrow."
Error leads to rally: The Mariners trailed, 4-1, entering the seventh inning, but tied the game after a crucial error by A's third baseman Healy and the benefit of an umpire's review. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Ruiz hit a ground ball to third that went off Healy's glove for a two-run error. The next batter, Jean Segura, hit into what appeared to be an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, but the Mariners challenged the play, and the replay revealed Segura to be safe at first, scoring the tying run from third.
"I don't know how that's overturned. I really don't," Melvin said. "It feels like we've been burned on that all year long, and just a lot of unlucky stuff. You have to make your own breaks, overcome it, and they did that."
"Obviously, we didn't have some things go our way late in the game," Joyce said, "but to be able to grind through it and fight back, and walk away with a win there, is huge for us."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Healy's homer had an exit velocity of 112.7 mph, according to Statcast™, and landed in the upper deck in left field. It had a projected distance of 443 feet and was the hardest-hit homer of Healy's career, as well as the hardest hit by an A's player this year. It ties Khris Davis for the A's second-hardest-hit homer of the Statcast™ era (since 2015).
POWELL COLLECTS FIRST CAREER HIT
The Mariners scored a run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Boog Powell, the club's No. 23 prospect per MLBPipeline.com. It was Powell's first Major League hit and first RBI, after he was recalled earlier in the day when Robinson Cano went on the disabled list.
WHAT'S NEXT A's: The A's will have right-hander Jesse Hahn on the mound for Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. PT series finale against the host Mariners. Hahn, who hasn't faced the Mariners since May 9, 2015, has pitched to a 2.74 ERA in seven appearances (six starts) this season.
Mariners: Seattle will start right-hander Christian Bergman (0-1, 4.18 ERA) in the series finale against the A's. Bergman will be making his third appearance and second start of the year. He lost in his first start on May 12 at Toronto, giving up three runs on seven hits in five innings.