OAKLAND -- The seeds of Scott Kazmir's first loss with the A's were sown with the first two batters he faced Monday night against the Seattle Mariners.

Michael Saunders led off the game with a single just off the glove of third baseman Josh Donaldson, and Stefen Romero followed with an infield single off Kazmir's glove. Both runners scored to establish an early lead in an eventual 4-2 Mariners win before 11,019 at O.co Coliseum.

"That's baseball," Kazmir said. "I just focus on stuff that I can control.

"After that first inning, I just tried to get as deep as I could."

Kazmir allowed season highs of four runs and eight hits over six innings to take his first loss with Oakland.

The two first-inning runs weren't the deal- breaker as the A's tied the score in the fourth inning on a two-run home run by Brandon Moss, his fifth of the season.

But the mere inches by which Saunders and Romero reached displayed the fine line for Kazmir between a quick first inning and a laborious one. Saunders scored on a seeing-eye, opposite-field single by Corey Hart and Romero on an RBI groundout by Kyle Seager.

"They just got him a little out of his rhythm early on," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Kazmir. "He recovered some and battled. It probably wasn't his best stuff that we've seen this year. The velocity was down a little bit. You're going to have days like that. He still kept us in the game."


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Mariners starter Chris Young was effective in keeping the A's off-kilter. The 6-foot-10 right-hander throws with deceptive speed.

"It looks like he's throwing soft, and the radar says he's throwing soft, but the way he pitches up and down, it makes it tough because it's so rare that you see something like that," Moss said. "He's 6-foot-10, and he's throwing out of the sky. The pitch up looks soft and looks good to hit, but you see what we do with it, we foul it off all the time."

After Moss' two-run homer tied the score in the fourth, Seattle went ahead for good in the fifth. Romero, a rookie with just 50 major league at-bats entering the game, smoked a Kazmir changeup for his first career home run to make it 3-2.

Seattle added a run in the sixth when Brad Miller singled home Cole Gillespie on a fly ball to left field that Moss lost in the lights.

Oakland threatened in the seventh inning when it put two runners on. But Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon used four pitchers, including Young, to get through the inning unscathed, and the A's went rather quietly in the eighth and ninth.

  • Outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick were both out of the starting lineup and, although Melvin claimed only Cespedes was available off the bench, both were entered into Monday's game.

    Reddick, who had a sprained left ankle, entered as a pinch-hitter with two aboard in the seventh inning. He never swung the bat as the Mariners brought in left-hander Joe Beimel. Melvin countered with Cespedes, who popped out to end the inning.

    Cespedes, dealing with a lingering hamstring injury, finished the game playing left field and made a nice running catch of a sinking liner in the ninth inning.

  • Melvin isn't sure who will start the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader. He has two candidates from Triple-A Sacramento in right-handers Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon, or he could go with an in-house option. The A's can add a 26th player to the roster for the doubleheader, so they will promote somebody from the minors.

    Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.

    Tuesday's game
    Seattle (Roenis Elias 2-2) at A's (Jesse Chavez (2-0), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA