Winning for the ninth time in 13 tries, the Mariners went up 3-0 in the first inning and cruised to an almost casual 7-3 triumph (box score) Saturday in Oakland behind eight innings from Felix Hernandez, pitching for the first time in 10 days. Shawn O’Malley, the rookie outfielder from Kennewick, WA., in his second big-league game, hit his first home run. The Mariners (65-71) have scored 35 runs in four September games, all wins, matching their season’s longest streak.
When Hernandez stepped upon the mound. He entered the game 6-1 vs. the Athletics in 10 starts dating to the start of last season (2.51 ERA, nine quality starts). His 22nd career win over Oakland also tied Houston’s Dallas Kuechel for the American League lead in victories with No. 16.
The Mariners had 14 hits. O’Malley was on base all four times, with a homer, single and two walks. Seth Smith had three hits, including two doubles. Logan Morrison had a two-run homer, his 16th, and theee RBIs. Brad Miller had two hits.
Until a loss July 4 in Oakland, Hernandez had gone 13 consecutive starts without a losing decision at the Coliseum, tied for the park’s longest streak by an opposing pitcher (Mike Flanagan, BAL, 1977-84). Hernandez gave up six hits, four of which came in his one bad inning, the third, when the A’s scored all their runs. He struck out nine.
A’s starter Jesse Chavez lasted two innings and 60 pitches, giving up five runs, six hits and five walks.
“What is he, five for six? If he goes 30 for 40, I’ll be impressed . . . he’ll get the chance,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon on O’Malley
The win clinched the season series for the Mariners, who have beaten the A’s 11 of 15 times. They have won the series three years in a row, the first time that’s happened since 2001-03 . . . RF/DH Nelson Cruz missed his second game in a row with a quad strain, and LF/DH Franklin Gutierrez also sat out after straining a groin muscle that forced him from Friday’s game. Gutierrez, in a platoon role, has a .641 slugging percentage, highest of any player in MLB with more than 100 at-bats. “He’s feeling a little better,” McClendon said. “It wasn’t as bad as we thought it was.” . . . Returning home Monday to a series with the Rangers, the Mariners have Roenis Elias starting Monday’s 3:40 p.m. Labor Day game, Taijuan Walker goes Tuesday night and Hernandez at 12:40 p.m. Thursday. Wedneaday is TBA.
The Mariners, 6-3 on the road trip, go for the sweep at 1 p.m. Sunday when Hisashi Iwakuma (6-3, 4.22 ERA) takes on LH Sean Nolin, who makes his major league debut.
First of all, LOL. They’re totally going to win all these games by slugger-to-crappy-pitcher-ratio! HAHAHA. Secondly, lets just watch the tragedy continue. Jeff Kingston is clearly auditioning for the GM gig. I’d never seen him before, so I looked him up. I expected some old pasty baseball Lifer, but no! He’s a kid! Not to judge too much on looks, but I would totally let that guy run my team for awhile, if I were Howard. He’s got the experience, so that should not be an issue. He’d come on the cheap, too.
Lets say they *do* get close to that last wild card spot, and Kingston makes a lot of good decisions along the way… What are the chances the Not-Baseball People leading this circus recognize someone who is actually doing a good job at making baseball decisions? Or, what are the chances they already have it in their brains that they absolutely *must* go outside of the organization, do yet another horrible overthink and hire some new shiny dolt to keep ruining things? Because you know… Lincolnland.
I’m replying to myself here. And I’m amending the above. Obviously, this only applies to road games. Games at Banalco Field are still going to mostly just be dreck. As, for some reason, the M’s occasionally play like a real baseball team on the road. At home, its like they play to the Chuck E Cheese atmosphere of the stadium.