Steve Cishek blows first opportunity as Seattle's ninth-inning struggles continue

Seattle Mariners closer Steve Cishek gave up a two-run home run in the ninth inning on Tuesday to blow a 5-4 lead in Seattle's 9-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics.

What It Means:

The arrow was pointing upward for Cishek following the Mariners' demotion of Edwin Diaz on Tuesday, but he failed mightily in his first save opportunity of the season. The 30-year-old right-hander surrendered a single to start out the ninth, putting the tying run on base before Matt Joyce rocketed a two-run go-ahead shot. This was only Cishek's second appearance of 2017 after he opened the year on the shelf while rehabbing from hip surgery. Tuesday's results could lead to more opportunity for Tony Zych, Nick Vincent and Marc Rzepczynski as manager Scott Servais tries to figure out what to do with his bullpen in the ninth inning. Rzepczynski replaced Cishek in the ninth on Tuesday and proceeded to give up a three-run home run.

The Mariners' bullpen is leading the majors both in ERA (5.45) and blown saves (10) this season. They're 8-for-18 on save chances so far in 2017.