OAKLAND — Jon Lester did just about everything the Oakland Athletics had hoped he would do in big games against big pitchers during the season's stretch run.
The A's just didn't do enough for him — again.
The troubling trend of support for Lester continued in Oakland's 2-1 loss to Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, dropping the three-game series to another AL playoff contender.
Kyle Seager and Corey Hart homered leading off the seventh inning as the Mariners rallied past Lester, who was acquired from Boston for slugger Yoenis Cespedes at the non-waiver trade deadline. Lester has not won since Aug. 12.
In his last four starts, the A's have given Lester three runs, two runs, no runs and one run of support.
"Guys go out there and compete, guys have good at-bats. We're competing on the mound. We're in just about every game. There's nothing more you can really ask for," Lester said. "Sometimes you just get beat and the ball doesn't fall your way."
The homers that erased an otherwise brilliant performance by Lester (13-10) and helped Hernandez (14-5) win for the first time in four outings.
Adam Dunn's homer in the fourth accounted for the only run Hernandez allowed in eight innings. The right-hander gave up three hits, struck out four and walked two to outduel Lester in a matchup of two of the AL's best pitchers.
The Mariners tagged Lester for seven hits in eight innings. Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth for his 41st save in 44 chances.
"It came as advertised," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Basically three swings of the bat, and they got two of them."