OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Coco Crisp helped spoil what otherwise could have been an even more memorable major league debut for Seattle starter Roenis Elias.
Crisp homered against Hector Noesi leading off the bottom of the 12th inning and the Oakland Athletics completed a 3-2 comeback victory over the Mariners on Thursday night.
“He was a little amped up in the first inning but he settled down nicely,” Mariners’ catcher Mike Zunino said of Elias. “He gave us a good game.”
Elias, who allowed a run on two hits over five innings, was in line to become the first Cuban-born pitcher to win a game for Seattle before the Mariners’ bullpen gave up the lead.
“I stayed pretty calm,” Elias said through an interpreter. “I was excited by all the support I received from my teammates. It was a beautiful thing.”
Elias, an all-star in the minors a year ago, allowed only two runners past first base and struck out three and walked three.
The 25-year-old rookie didn’t give up a hit until Nick Punto’s sharp single to left with two outs in the fifth.
Elias thought he had Punto struck out on an earlier pitch.
“I sincerely thought it was a strike,” Elias said. “The umpire did not think it was a strike. If I get that call, I get out of the inning without allowing a run. A few pitches that in the minor leagues are strikes, are not strikes here.”
Abraham Almonte had two hits and an RBI for Seattle. The Mariners were coming off a series sweep of the Los Angeles Angels and were attempting to go 4-0 for the first time since 1985.
After scoring 28 runs in the three games against the Angels, Seattle’s offense managed just six hits against Oakland and stranded seven base runners.
Robinson Cano drove in a run in the first with a groundout and Almonte’s RBI single off Oakland starter Jesse Chavez in the fifth drove in Logan Morrison and made it 2-0.
Crisp, who scored the tying run with two outs in the eighth inning, hit a towering home run on an 0-1 pitch. The ball landed just above the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. It’s the sixth game-ending hit of Crisp’s career.
“The ball was a little up from where we wanted it,” Zunino said. “But it was one of those things that Coco is a great hitter and got his bat extended.”
Zunino was involved in the game’s only replay, which was initiated by the umpires to determine if the Mariners’ catcher blocked the plate illegally. The ruling was upheld and Sam Fuld was declared out at the plate.
“It’s something that is going to happen with plays at the plate,” he said. “I knew I was in fair territory the whole time but I approached it the same way I always would. I didn’t want to be thinking about it.”
The delay lasted 3 minutes, 34 seconds.
NOTES: A’s RHP Dan Strailey faces Seattle RHP Chris Young on Friday. Young last pitched in the big leagues in Sept. 29, 2012. … Mariners RHP Stephen Pryor (surgery) began a rehab assignment with Double-A Jackson on Thursday. … RHP Taijuan Walker (shoulder) will make a rehab start for Single-A High Desert on Friday.