The road right now is one miserable place of the Mariners.
A 4-3 loss Saturday to the Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum dropped the Mariners to 1-9 in road games, including four one-run losses.
A toothless attack remains a major issue. The Mariners are batting .195 in their 10 road games, including .159 with runners in scoring position.
Saturday’s problems also included an ineffective Ariel Miranda, who regressed badly after pitching seven shutout innings against Texas in his previous start. Miranda gave up two homers in the first inning Saturday and got an early hook.
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Three takeaways from Saturday’s loss:
***Cano shows encouraging signs (Cruz, too): It’s a hopeful sign that Robinson Cano had three hits Saturday, including a homer, and that Nelson Cruz reached base three times and had a sacrifice fly. Both are now north of .250.
It wasn’t enough to prevent another road loss, but the Mariners aren’t going to shake their road blues until Cano and Cruz again become consistent run-producers.
***Who’s next?: Center fielder Leonys Martin has already been bench for a lack of production. Next in line could be first baseman Danny Valencia, whose average is down to .145 after going hitless Saturday in three at-bats.
It’s probably no coincidence that first baseman Dan Vogelbach was pulled out of Triple-A Tacoma’s game Saturday in Albuquerque after one at-bat. There’s a good chance the Mariners will make at least one roster move prior to Sunday’s series finale.
***De Jong bounces back: There also seems a reasonable chance that right-hander Chase De Jong could be heading back to Tacoma after pitching four scoreless innings Saturday after replacing Miranda.
Those four innings mean De Jong would be unavailable for the next few days, which makes him a likely casualty if the Mariners need to clear a roster space.
That said, De Jong’s performance represented a significant personal achievement. His only other big-league appearance, April 5 at Houston, ended in surrendering a walk-off homer to George Springer in the 13th inning.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners