On a night where offenses thrived, pitchers failed. Eight pitchers for Seattle and seven for Oakland climbed the well-trod hill as the Mariners Saturday night captured the first of three in Oakland against the A’s, 11-8 (box score). A six-run outburst in the top of the third gave Seattle a big edge to win for the seventh time in 10 games.
In a game they trailed 5-1 and led 9-5, the Mariners’ lead was down to 9-8 in the sixth after a two-run triple off new reliever Mayckol Guiape by Marcus Siemen, who scored on a single by Billy Butler. But Seattle’s defense came up big, closing out the A’s when Brett Lawrie hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
3B Kyle Seager had a two-run homer to right field in the top of the ninth that provided the Mariners some breathing room. He was 3-for-4. LF Stefen Romero was 2-for-4 off the bench with three RBI, replacing an injured Franklin Gutierrez (tight groin) in the second. Morrison had two hits and Brad Miller three RBI.
In the third, the Mariners drove in six runs off seven hits — both season highs for an inning — including doubles from Ketel Marte, Seager, Logan Morrison and Brad Miller.
Mariners starter Edgar Olmos was battered by the A’s, surrendering a grand slam as the biggest part of five runs, six hits, and a walk in just an inning and a third. Jose Ramirez recorded the win in 1.2 innings of work, giving up no hits. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen recorded his ninth save.
“That’s what I’ve envisioned with (Seager) hitting in the two hole. He gets pitches to hit, and he hasn’t disappointed.” – manager Lloyd MClendon
LHP James Paxton’s return to the rotation was delayed by a torn fingernail on his throwing hand. Paxton injured the nail in what was expected to be his final Triple-A game in Tacoma after three and a half months on the disabled list . . . Wilhelmsen has a 0.00 ERA in 9.2 innings in his last 9 appearances, and is 7-for-7 in save opportunities during that stretch.
Felix Hernandez (15-8, 3.66 ERA) will have a chance to clinch the three-game series Saturday at 6:10 p.m. when he squares off against Oakland righty Jesse Chavez (7-13, 3.93 ERA).