OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Whatever problems Khris Davis was having at the plate a few weeks ago, they’ve clearly been corrected.
If only Oakland manager Bob Melvin could get the rest of his lineup to follow suit.
Davis hit a pair of homers – including a towering, two-run shot that bounced off the facade below the luxury suites in center field – but the Athletics still lost 4-3 to the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
“He’s going to be big for us in the middle of the order all year,” said A’s catcher Stephen Vogt, who had three hits. “He got his pitch twice and didn’t miss it. It’s fun to watch him hit the ball a long way.”
Davis homered leading off the second before hitting his fifth of the season in the seventh.
It was his fourth homer in nine games after hitting only one in his first 16 games, but Oakland’s power-hitting outfielder didn’t stick around to talk about his big night. He left the A’s clubhouse before reporters were let in.
Melvin thinks Davis is finally relaxed after pressing earlier in the season.
“When you get with a new team, at times you try to impress a little bit,” Melvin said. “To hit one as far as he did in our ballpark, center field at night here, means you can hit it out anywhere. You just have to get a good look at the ball and put good swings on it, and that’s what we’re seeing right now.”
Davis and Vogt accounted for five of Oakland’s six hits. Pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie struck out against closer Steve Cishek with two on to end it.
All of Seattle’s runs came off starter Kendall Graveman (1-3), who has been tagged for 10 runs over his last 11 innings.
Graveman struck out six and walked one in 6 1/3 innings. Three of his strikeouts came in the third when Graveman got all three Mariners hitters to strike out swinging.
“I thought my stuff was good tonight,” Graveman said. “The second time through the lineup they really started swinging early, so we had to mix up some speeds and continue to try and keep them off balance early in the count.”
Robinson Cano had three hits and scored twice for Seattle. Kyle Seager hit a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning.
Nelson Cruz also got three hits for the Mariners, who have won five straight at the Oakland Coliseum.
Nathan Karns (3-1) gave up three runs over six-plus innings. The right-hander lost to Oakland in his first start of the season on April 9 but struck out six and walked one this time to earn his third straight win.
Cishek finished for his seventh save.
VOGT HEATING UP
Vogt is hitting .315 over his last 14 games after singling twice and doubling against Seattle. It was Vogt’s sixth multihit game this season and the third time he’s had three hits.
The A’s and Mariners each plan to have a representative at Tim Lincecum’s showcase workout in Arizona next week. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is a free agent who hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 27 but is hoping to return to the big leagues. “I’d be surprised if most teams weren’t out there looking at him,” Melvin said. “He’s been a big-time pitcher and a guy that is very well-liked out here in the Bay Area.”
Mariners: RHP Joaquin Benoit (shoulder inflammation) could begin throwing by the end of the week. Benoit is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.
Athletics: Lowrie was kept out of the starting lineup due to lingering soreness in his calf. … Mark Canha made his first career start at third base, with Chris Coghlan moving to second. Coghlan has been Oakland’s primary third baseman since Danny Valencia went out with a strained hamstring. Valencia is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-3) starts against Oakland on Tuesday night seeking his third consecutive win over the A’s.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (3-2) has beaten the Mariners four times in nine career starts but did not pitch against them when the teams played in early April.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.