Stefan Romero hit his first career home run, a tiebreaking shot in the fifth inning, and Chris Young allowed two hits over six innings, leading the Mariners to a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics Monday night at O.co Coliseum. The win was Seattle’s third in a row and eighth in 10 games. The Mariners are 5-1 on the current road trip.
Also with the victory, the Mariners reached .500 (15-15) for the first time since April 16, when they were 7-7.
The junket continues at 7 p.m. Tuesday with the second of four games. LHP Roenis Ellis (2-2, 3.09) will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Jesse Chavez (2-0, 1.89). A doubleheader Wednesday ends the trip.
Romero, a 25-year-old rookie from Oregon State, homered in his 53rd career at-bat and is hitting .306 over his last nine games. Young, who began the season with four consecutive no-decisions, has won his last two starts. Young won back-to-back starts for the first time since May 19 and 24, 2009, for the Padres. Since then, he’s had three shoulder surgeries. He joined the Mariners late in spring training after getting released by the Washington Nationals.
“Stuff-wise,” I’m still not there,” Young told reporters. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be again.”
Romero’s shot barely cleared the fence in left.
“Fortunately, it got out,” Romero said. “Just not having done it this year, it’s pretty sweet to get that one out of the way.”
The Mariners took a 2-0 lead on the AL West leaders in the first inning when Corey Hart singled to right, scoring Michael Saunders. Kyle Seager’s ground ball out scored Romero, who reached on an infield single.
Brandon Moss tied the game with a two-run homer off Young in the fourth inning. Romero sent the Mariners ahead with his homer in the fifth. The Mariners tacked on a run in the seventh on Brad Miller’s RBI single.
Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth inning, recording his eighth save in nine opportunities.
NOTES: The second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader will is a makeup for the April 4 game that was postponed because the field was unplayable . . . Felix Hernandez is scheduled to start the first game, but manager Lloyd McClendon has yet to name the starter for Game 2. Hernandez, who began the season 3-0, hasn’t won since April 11.