Brandon Maurer (5-8) allowed two earned runs over 5.1 innings and rookie Brad Miller hit a pair of home runs, including a grand slam, leading the Mariners to a 7-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics Saturday Safeco Field. With Justin Smoak also homering, the Mariners raced to a 7-1 lead and held on in front of 17,751.
Miller drove in a career-high five runs as Seattle (71-90) took the middle game of the three-game series against the playoff-bound Athletics.
After Raul Ibanez walked in the second, Smoak pounded his 20th home run, a shot to right field on a 1-and-0 count, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead. The Athletics got a run back in the third on Coco Crisp’s sacrifice fly, but Miller jacked a solo shot in Seattle’s half.
The Mariners broke open the game in the fifth. Dustin Ackley reached on an infield single and, after Mike Zunino and Nick Franklin singled, Miller crushed his salami, knocking Oakland starter Jarrod Parker out of the game. The slam was the first of Miller’s career.
“He swung the bat really well for us today,” said lame-duck manager Eric Wedge, who said before the game that he would not return to the club if they offered a five-year contract. “He’s doing a better job of getting on top of that high fast ball and it was obviously big for us, especially the way they came back on us. He’s up there ready to rip.”
The Athletics chipped away at Seattle’s lead, scoring once in the sixth (7-2) and three times in the seventh, particularly victimizing Chance Ruffin with back-to-back home runs by Coco Crisp and Alberto Callaspo. But Lucas Luetge and Yoervis Medina combined for 1.1 innings of scoreless relief before turning the game over to closer Danny Farquhar, who notched his 16th save in 20 chances.
Maurer had been 0-1 in three starts and three relief appearance since defeating the AL West champions Aug. 20.
NOTES: The Mariners have four players with 20 home runs, including Raul Ibanez (29), Kendrys Morales (23), Kyle Seager (22) and Smoak (20) for the first time since 2007 . . . Smoak’s previous career high was 19 in 2012 . . . Miller is the first rookie in franchise history to post three multi-homer games.
NEXT: The Mariners end the season Sunday, starting at 1:10 p.m. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (5-2, 4.56) will oppose RHP Sonny Gray (4-3, 2.90).