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Hammel struggles as A's beaten by Braves 7-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm •  Published: August 15, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — Jason Hammel seemed to be gaining momentum in the Oakland rotation.

An ugly step back led to questions about his spot in it.

Hammel gave up five runs while recording only nine outs and the Oakland Athletics' mini-slide continued with a 7-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Hammel (1-5) allowed five runs and six hits, including three homers, in three innings. He was pulled after walking B.J. Upton to open the fourth.

"Obviously it's not acceptable," Hammel said. "I've got to find a way to get through a few more innings there, at least save the bullpen."

The A's have lost three straight and five of six.

"We're just going through a tough time right now," manager Bob Melvin said. "You start to press a little bit offensively and it can be contagious as a group.

"You start swinging at some pitches out of the zone. We're pretty good about looking for our pitch and waiting for it. We haven't been as good here recently."

Hammel has a 6.75 ERA in seven starts since his trade from the Cubs. He had allowed only one earned run over 12 innings in his previous two starts.

Melvin said Hammel was hurt by high pitches in giving up homers to Justin Upton and Evan Gattis in the second. The more damaging one was Freddie Freeman's three-run homer in the third.

Melvin wouldn't discuss Hammel's status in the rotation.

"I would never make comments about any player 10 minutes after a game regardless of who it is or what," Melvin said.

Oakland's only runs off Alex Wood (9-9) came on a two-run homer by Nate Freiman in the fourth.

Braves rookie Phil Gosselin hit a two-run homer, the first of his career, off Jesse Chavez in the sixth.

After the game, Freeman applauded Atlanta's power surge.

"That was a good night," Freeman said, noting Oakland brought the majors' best record to Atlanta.

"We always play those teams the hardest, and it was no different tonight," Freeman said.

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