The last thing the Marlins wanted to do Friday night was play another extra-inning marathon.
Baseball’s best team made sure they didn’t have to.
After blowing an early four-run lead, the Oakland Athletics scored a run in the eighth to tie it and then four more off Marlins closer Steve Cishek in the ninth to rally past the Marlins 9-5 in front of 18,666 fans at Marlins Park.
The four earned runs allowed by Cishek matched a career high and raised his ERA from 1.93 to 2.97. It also sent the Marlins (39-41) to their 13th loss in their past 19 home games.
“I felt good going into the game,” said Cishek, who spent a good chunk of the night Thursday in Philadelphia warming up in the bullpen in case the Marlins needed him during their 14-inning loss to the Phillies.
“I was confident. I felt like normal. For whatever reason they wanted to do more damage than I did.”
Oakland took the lead in the ninth after umpires reversed a call on a play at the plate. Coco Crisp was initially called out on a beautiful throw to the plate from right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. But replays showed Crisp touched the backside of the plate before Jeff Mathis applied the tag.
That opened the floodgates to Cishek’s worst outing since June 27, 2011 when he gave up four runs in a loss to the Nationals.
Before all that, though, the A's (49-30) tied it in the eighth when Marcell Ozuna dove, but couldn't come up with a sinking line drive to left field off the bat off Josh Reddick. Catcher Stephen Vogt, who entered in the game in the fourth inning for the injured Derek Norris, came all the way around from first base to score with two outs after the ball trickled away from Ozuna.
“It was aggressive for the score and the inning,” Redmond said of Ozuna’s dive. “We’ve got to start making some plays and especially defensively, right now every mistake we make is costing us and we seem to be making big mistakes at the wrong time and that’s got to to stop. We’ve got to start winning and getting on the other end of these and quit making the big mistakes.”
That play — along with another play at the plate involving Stanton back in the third inning — ended up changing the fortunes of the Marlins, who were in line to match their biggest come-from-behind win of the season.
Trailing 4-0, the Marlins scored five runs in a six-hit sixth inning to take the lead.
A’s starter Jesse Chavez, who had given up just two hits through the first five innings, surrendered four consecutive singles to Giancarlo Stanton, Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones and Ozuna to open the sixth. The last two hits scored runs and ended Chavez’s night.
Right-hander Dan Otero entered and gave up an RBI double down the right-field line to Donovan Solano and then the lead when Jeff Mathis grounded out to second to tie the score at 4. Jeff Baker, who was hitting .170 against right-handers and only .211 in pinch-hit situations, then singled to center off Otero to give the Marlins the lead.
But it wasn’t meant to be for the Marlins, who arrived in South Florida around 4 a.m. Friday morning after playing a 14-inning marathon in Philadelphia that took nearly five hours to complete.
The Athletics, who own baseball’s best record despite having the sixth-lowest payroll, are the only team in the big leagues that has yet to use a rookie this season. The Marlins have used eight, including the first two pitchers who took the mound for them Friday.
Marlins starter Anthony DeSclafani, who left Friday night’s game with a right forearm contusion after pitching only three innings, was the first.
DeSclafani, 24, was struck by a line drive back to the mound by Oakland’s Brandon Moss in the first inning but remained in the game after throwing two warmup pitches in front of Marlins trainers.
After giving up two runs on four hits in the opening frame, the right-hander settled down and retired six of the next seven hitters he faced on only 22 pitches.
He said he could have continued, but the Marlins took him out for precautionary reasons. “I should be good to throw [Saturday],” DeSclafani said. “We’ll see how it feels in the morning.”
Left-hander Brian Flynn, who was called up by the Marlins on Friday to provide depth for an already-taxed pitching staff following Thursday night’s loss, came out to pitch the fourth.
The A’s opened the fourth with three consecutive hits off Flynn and then extended their lead to 3-0 on Crisp’s groundout to short. Josh Donaldson then tripled home another run off Flynn in the fifth.
The Marlins could have had a bigger lead for reliever Kevin Gregg in the eighth had A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes not ended the third inning by recording his major league-leading 10th outfield assist with a perfect throw to the plate to nail Stanton.
At first it appeared plate umpire Marty Foster might have missed the call. But replays showed Stanton slid past the plate and didn’t touch it until A’s catcher Derek Norris had already applied the tag. Mike Redmond came out of the dugout to speak with Foster, but the Marlins manager never challenged the call.