OAKLAND, Calif. – Dustin Ackley insisted he felt fine despite an ugly-looking collision at home plate on the play that ultimately decided Wednesday’s game.
Ackley was on first base in the sixth inning after a walk when Brendan Ryan drove a ball down the left-field line and into the corner. A tying run immediately scored on the play but Ackley was also waved all the way around.
He arrived standing up at home plate at the same time as the ball and sent Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt flying head over heels in the ensuing collision. Vogt lay on the ground in pain for several moments but eventually got up and stayed in the contest.
“It was one of those situations where I was just trying to get to the plate as quick as I could,’’ Ackley said. “I think he might have even been trying to deke me a bit. Just standing there as if nothing was happening. I kind of noticed (the ball) at the last second.
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“It was kind of a half slide, half not-slide pretty much is what it boils down to.’’
Vogt sidestepped Ackley at the last possible instant to avoid the full-on brunt of the collision. But Ackley going in slightly lower also caused him to take Vogt out at the legs and sent him flying.
“He fell backwards and hit the back of his head a little bit,’’ A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Not a concussion, but he was able to stay in the game. But obviously when you only have one catcher that’s a bit scary too.’’
Replays appeared to show Ackley was tagged out in time, but plate umpire Chad Fairchild ruled him safe.
Melvin lost starting catcher Derek Norris on Tuesday night to a broken big toe on a collision at the plate with Nick Franklin. Regular backup John Jaso is out indefinitely with a concussion. Ackley said he had no lingering effects from the collision.
“It didn’t hurt at all,’’ he said. “I was surprised when I looked back and I saw him on the ground because I wasn’t hurt and didn’t feel like I banged into anything pretty hard.”
• Melvin was uncharacteristically critical of his team’s play in the series. The A’s blew a 4-2 lead in the eighth Tuesday and a 3-1 lead in the fifth in Wednesday’s affair. While Melvin said Ackley should have been out on the play at the plate, he added that it wasn’t the deciding factor.
“Regardless, everything that we did today is what’s wrong with us,’’ he said. “We didn’t add on early, we didn’t make big pitches when we had to, we didn’t come through in situational at-bats. Ugly, ugly game for us.’’
• Michael Morse hit his first home run since Aug. 2 for the Mariners, a solo blast to dead center in the second inning. Morse later added a single in the eighth after coming in 2 for 20 on the road trip.
• Nick Franklin could be back in action by Friday or Saturday after getting five stitches on his left knee after Tuesday’s plate collision.