BY SPNW Staff 04:48PM 09/29/2012

Mariners blow 4-1 lead, denying Vargas again

The Oakland A’s scored one run in the eighth, two in the ninth and three in the 10th — a three-run, walk-off homer by Brandon Moss — to dope-slap the Mariners 7-4 Saturday afternoon after Jason Vargas left his final game of the season with a 4-1 lead.

In the 10th, Coco Crisp led off with a single, his fourth hit of the game, off reliever Oliver Perez. Manager Eric Wedge brought in rookie right-hander Stephen Pryor, who walked Yoenis Cespedes on four pitches, then gave up the heartbreaker to Moss.

It was the A’s 14th walk-off win, most in the American League.

The late collapse by the bullpen spoiled another gem from Vargas, who gave up one run, five hits and no walks in seven innings. The no-decision left him at 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA in 217.1 innings.

Trouble for the Mariners began in the eighth began when Moss’s single to right field off Tom Wilhelmsen drove in Crisp and would have brought in two runs but for a good throw from right fielder Casper Wells to Dustin Ackley, whose relay to catcher Miguel Olivo nailed Steven Drew at the plate.

After getting one out in the ninth, Wilhelmsen yielded a walk to Josh Reddick and a game-tying home run to Josh Donaldson to straightaway center at the Coliseum, thrilling a crowd of 21,517 that sensed another ridiculous comeback win, the A’s 90th triumph of the season that kept them in position for the playoffs.

For seven innings behind Vargas, the Mariners were in control. They scored a run without benefit of a hit in the second. John Jaso walked and appeared likely to be doubled up after Justin Smoak’s grounder to first was grabbed by first baseman Moss, who tagged the bag.

But his throw to second sailed into left field. Jaso took off for third, where the throw from left fielder Cespedes went into the dugout for the second error on the play.

Leading off the fourth, Kyle Seager hit his 19th home run for his 83rd RBI. After Jaso walked, Michael Saunders also hit home run No. 19 for a 4-0 Mariners lead.

The A’s had their only run off Vargas in the fourth when Cespedes singled and Moss, who drove in five runs, executed a hit and run to the right side. As Wells hesitated in right, Cespedes kept running and scored from first.

The Mariners, who entered the game with only seven hits in 71 at-bats with runner in scoring position, had only five hits and stranded another five.


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