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Mariners get to Oakland closer in extra innings

  • Oakland Athletics pitcher Grant Balfour (50) reacts on the mound after Seattle Mariners' Michael Saunders singled in the tenth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 23, 2013, in Seattle. The Mariners beat the Athletics, 6-3 in ten innings. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE — The Oakland Athletics aren't used to seeing anything go wrong when Grant Balfour's on the mound.

The A's closer hasn't blown a save in his last 36 chances, but he got his first loss in almost a year when he gave up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Kendrys Morales in the 10th inning of a 6-3 defeat to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

Balfour (0-1) came on to start the 10th with the game tied, a situation he's not used to.

"I wasn't expecting the call, I guess," Balfour said. "I guess I'm waiting for us to score to go in and save the game. So I didn't have the right mind frame going in maybe."

After getting a leadoff groundout, Balfour struck out Mike Zunino, only to have him reach first on a wild pitch. Balfour then worked Michael Saunders to a full count before Saunders singled and Zunino advanced to third. Morales then hit the first pitch he saw deep to right-center to end the game.


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