The A's had plenty of them Wednesday night against Seattle but simply couldn't break the game open.
In the end, it cost them.
The Mariners, meanwhile, made good on their opportunities at just the right time.
Seattle's Yuniesky Betancourt drove home Charlton Jimerson with a two-out single in the ninth inning, lifting the Mariners past the A's 6-5 in front of 26,194 fans at Safeco Field.
A's reliever Andrew Brown (2-2) took the loss.
Seattle closer J.J. Putz (3-1) picked up the win with a perfect inning of relief.
The A's had their chances, getting the leadoff runner aboard six times, but came up with just one clutch hit -- a two-run single by pinch-hitter Mike Piazza in the seventh that put the A's on top 5-4.
The lead was short lived as Seattle's Adam Jones tied it in the eighth with a pinch-hit home run off A's reliever Alan Embree.
"It was where I wanted it to be," Embree said of the pitch to Jones. "It was thigh-high on the outside corner. He caught it, that's all there is to it.
"I tip my hat to him."
The A's left nine runners on base, six in scoring position. They even were aided by a porous Seattle defense that committed three errors.
But it was to no avail.
A's starter Dan Haren battled through 6ª innings, allowing four earned runs and 12 hits. He walked one and struck out six on a night he admittedly didn't have his best stuff.
"I had better stuff than I've had lately," said Haren, who has allowed 35 hits and 14 earned runs in his last 17-1/3 innings.
Haren hasn't earned a victory since Aug. 21 against Toronto.
Nick Swisher drove home Shannon Stewart in the first with a sacrifice fly, helping the A's tag Seattle starter Miguel Batista with an unearned run. Stewart led off with a walk and moved to third on an error by Seattle second baseman Willie Bloomquist on an infield single by Daric Barton.
The lead wouldn't last long.
After throwing just 18 pitches through the first two innings, Haren labored in the third, allowing consecutive singles by Jamie Burke and Bloomquist before loading the bases with a walk to Adrian Beltre. Raul Ibanez then delivered a two-run double for a 2-1 Seattle lead.
Oakland responded in the fourth with a slow, infield single off the bat of Kurt Suzuki that scored Mark Ellis.
Seattle kept the heat on Haren in the fourth, taking a 3-2 lead after consecutive bloop singles followed by a sacrifice fly by Betancourt.
Oakland bounced back in the fifth, tying the game 3-3 on a sacrifice fly by Swisher that tipped off the glove of Ichiro Suzuki for an error.
Like much of the game for the A's, however, the inning was filled with missed opportunities. They loaded the bases with no outs but weren't able to push across anymore runs.
"We had them on the ropes a few times," Haren said. "We scored five runs, but it seemed like we could've scored eight or 10."
While the A's failed to cash in on their early opportunities, the Mariners were just good enough with theirs in the sixth. Seattle put two runners on but didn't push in the go-ahead run until Ichiro Suzuki squirted a two-out, RBI single up the middle, scoring Betancourt to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead.
"It was an old-fashioned dogfight," Swisher said. "You've got to tip your cap to them."