SS Ketel Marte punched a go-ahead, RBI single to center in the ninth and Edwin Diaz followed with his 15th save in 16 chances as the Mariners completed a three-game sweep of the Athletics Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum with a 3-2 victory (box). Seattle (75-68) has won five in a row and six of its past seven, but failed to gain ground in the race for the second wild card — still 3.5 games in arrears — as Baltimore defeated Detroit, 3-1.
This is the first time in franchise history that the Mariners had two sweeps in a single season at the Oakland Coliseum, and the first time they have accomplished that feat in any American League park since Texas in 1984.
C Mike Zunino, who had a two-run homer in the second, opened the ninth with a double. After CF Leonys Martin singled pinch runner Ben Gamel to third, Marte hit a slicing liner to center off Ryan Madson that plated Gamel.
A day after collecting 17 hits, the Mariners added 12 more, three by Marte (3-for-3, RBI), and two apiece by DH Nelson Cruz (2-for-4), Zunino (2-for-4) and Martin (2-for-4). Zunino’s homer was his 11th . . . 2B Robinson Cano went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and saw his streak of consecutive games reaching base end at 14 . . . The Mariners went 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.
Diaz needed only 11 pitches for a 1-2-3 save . . . Seattle starter James Paxton worked six innings and allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks, including one with the bases loaded. Paxton threw 98 pitches, 60 for strikes, and departed with the score 2-2 . . . Evan Scribner worked a scoreless seventh that included a dash of drama. He allowed a one-out triple to Brett Eibner, but escaped by inducing Joey Wendle to hit into an around-the-horn double play . . . Former closer Steve Cishek worked a scoreless eighth and collected his third win (3-6, 3.18).
“It was a hard-fought win, and that’s the best way to describe it. It was a nice series for us. We got accomplished what needed to get done, so we’re looking forward to going to Anaheim. Paxton got us through six innings and that was crucial because it set up our bullpen. Marte did a great job today and had the big knock at the end. There were some things we could have executed better, but at the end of the day we got the ‘W’ and that what counts. It’s hard to sweep anybody.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
Seattle has won five consecutive games twice this season and is 7-3 in its last 10 . . . The Mariners are 10-5 vs. Oakland this season, 8-1 in the Oakland Coliseum, and have won 11 of their past 12 in the facility. They also swept the A’s in the Coliseum May 2-4 . . . Sunday’s sweep was Seattle’s seventh of three or more games and enabled the Mariners to improve to 30-33 against the AL West . . . Adam Lind had a finger injury Sunday and is expected to miss a couple of days.
The Mariners begin a three-game set against the Angels Monday in Anaheim (7:05 p.m.). LHP Ariel Miranda (3-1, 4.79) will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-13, 4.90). Following the series, the Marinersl take Thursday off before a three-game set with the Houston Astros Friday at Safeco Field.