Raul Ibanez belted a three-run homer in the seventh inning and Nick Franklin followed with a two-run single in the eighth, lifting the Mariners to a 7-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics Saturday night at Safeco Field that snapped Seattle’s three-game losing streak. The Mariners evened their series with the A’s 1-1 with the series finale set for Sunday afternoon.
The Mariners, who had lost five of their previous six, improved to 33-43 and avoided their first four-game losing streak since dropping eight in a row from May 17-25. Seattle led 2-0, fell behind 3-2 and then 5-2, tied it 5-5 on Ibanez’s 15th homer, and won it when Franklin drilled the go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth.
Yoervis Medina (2-2), who walked in the winning run against the Angels earlier in the week in a 10-9 loss, worked a perfect ninth for the victory. He was aided by a big double play started by Kyle Seager and then retired Brandon Moss on a fly to center.
Ibanez and Franklin each drove in three runs. The Mariners had 13 hits but left 10 stranded.
Seattle starter Aaron Harang worked 5.0 innings, gave up three runs on six hits, fanned three and walked two, throwing 60 of his 95 pitches for strikes.
Jed Lowrie drove in all three Oakland runs with a sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run single in the fifth.
Franklin Gutierrez, just recalled from AAA Tacoma after another rehab assignment, muscled a solo homer in the second inning, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead. Franklin followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 advantage.
Lowrie’s sacrifice fly in the third and two-run single in the fifth vaulted the Athletics to a 3-2 advantage. Oakland went up 5-2 in the seventh on an RBI single by Josh Donaldson and a two-run single by Josh Reddick. That’s when Ibanez smacked his home run, tying the score 5-5.
The Mariners and Athletics conclude the series Sunday afternoon (1:10 p.m.) at Safeco Field. RHP Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 3.28) will work for Seattle against RHP Jarrod Parker (6-6, 4.30).
The Mariners take Monday off before a two-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday. Following another day off Thursday, the Mariners host the Chicago Cubs for three (Friday-Sunday).
If Guti can just stay on the field he can be a force. Despite being arguably the worst defensive player in MLB, Raul is not without value on occasion. This team should be better in the second half of the season; they could only be worse intentionally. Hang Harang out to dry and give us back Erasmo.
Harang is having a good season. IMO, the club needs a true leadoff hitter that they’ve been lacking since….well, you know. Overall the OF doesn’t have anyone who’s going to win a Gold Glove anytime soon. I think that needs to change.