Yoenis Cespedes banged two home runs, including a two-run shot in the first inning off Hisashi Iwakuma, and Bartolo Colon and the Oakland Athletics went on to a 6-3 victory over the Mariners Friday night at Safeco Field. Iwakuma, who gave up three long balls, lost his second consecutive start and the Mariners dropped their third in a row to commence an eight-game home stand.
The Mariners, 32-43, fell 11.5 games behind the division-leading Athletics in the AL West. They are 18-18 at Safeco Field.
Cespedes, who homered to left on a 1-1 count off Iwakuma in the first, also homered in the ninth off former closer Tom Wilhelmsen. Between those two blasts, the Athletics received long balls from Jed Lowrie in the fourth and Coco Crisp in the sixth.
Colon (10-2, 2.93), who improved to 11-1 in his career at Safeco, worked 8.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Colon has won seven consecutive starts and, with his 10th victory, tied Max Scherzer of Detroit for the most wins in the American League.
Colon’s 11-1 career mark at Safeco Field is the best record for any pitcher with at least seven decisions in Seattle’s home ballpark.
After the Athletics staked Colon to a 2-0 lead, he fell behind 3-2 in the third when Brendan Ryan and Endy Chavez singled preceding rookie Nick Franklin’s three-run homer. Lowrie’s homer tied it 3-3 and Crisp’s shot in the sixth gave Oakland a 4-3 lead.
Cespedes’ two-run blast meant Wilhelmsen has allowed home runs in his last two outings after not giving up a homer in his first 29.1 innings this season.
Iwakuma (7-3, 2.26) has lost consecutive starts. He allowed four earned runs on six hits in 7.0 innings. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
The three-game series resumes Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. RHP Aaron Harang (3-7, 5.28) will throw opposite RHP Dan Straily (4-2, 4.97). Harang has two complete-game shutouts in his last five starts, but also has been roughed up several times, including his last outing in Anaheim when he gave up 12 hits and four runs in 5.0 innings.