A's win as Hill confounds Mariners

May 24th, 2016

SEATTLE -- Rich Hill threw eight scoreless innings and catcher Stephen Vogt cranked a solo homer in the seventh as the A's rallied late for a 5-0 victory on Monday at Safeco Field, snapping the Mariners' four-game win streak.

Hill blanked the Mariners on eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts as he improved to 7-3 with a 2.18 ERA. Oakland, which had lost four straight coming into the series, is now 20-26. The Mariners still lead the American League West by 1 1/2 games over Texas at 26-18, but are just 8-11 at Safeco, including an 0-4 mark against the A's.

"He was outstanding," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "He's given us a chance to win in every one of his starts this year and tonight was no different." More >

Taijuan Walker shut out the A's for six frames on just two hits until Vogt's home run leading off the seventh. Two throwing errors on shortstop Chris Taylor -- making his first start in place of the injured Ketel Marte -- opened the floodgates in the eighth as Oakland scored four times to break open the game.

"It's definitely not the way I wanted to start out. But that's baseball and it happens," Taylor said. "There's always going to be nerves making your season debut. I might have let the adrenaline get the better of me tonight. But that's part of the game. I'll settle down and get back at it."

Walker took the loss despite allowing just four hits with one walk and six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings as the 23-year-old fell to 2-4 with a 2.70 ERA. He was charged with five runs, but only one was earned. More >


Hill escapes a big jam: Things could have gotten out of hand early for the A's, but Hill did a great job of wiggling out of trouble. After the Mariners loaded the bases on three softly hit singles with nobody out in the second, Hill struck out Chris Iannetta, got Norichika Aoki on a 3-2 groundout, and punched out Taylor to keep the game scoreless.

"Rich Hill has been very good all year," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "We knew it was going to be a tough one. We got a few hits in that second, but couldn't put anything together after that. If we could have jumped up there early , it might have been a different outcome."

A little love with the glove: After a leadoff single by Coco Crisp, Walker retired 16 in a row until Jake Smolinski singled to right in the sixth. But second baseman Robinson Cano erased Smolinski with a marvelous glove flip for a force at second when Crisp ripped a hard shot up the middle that deflected off the heel of Cano's mitt, but the two-time Gold Glover recovered and flicked to Taylor for the second out of the inning.


Vogt breaks the silence: Neither team had scored until Vogt took care of that with one loud swing. Vogt led off the seventh inning with his team having only scratched out two hits off Walker but unloaded on a 3-1 fastball, driving it deep into the right-field bleachers. It was Vogt's fourth homer of the season and gave Oakland a 1-0 lead.

"In games like that, it feels like more than one run," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It feels like someone's going to have to work to get a run, period. And now you get one swing and you get a run, obviously the momentum shifts into our dugout, and it seemed like we relaxed a little more and got some better at-bats after that."

A's take advantage of mistakes: Oakland was able to pad its lead in the eighth inning thanks to a few miscues by the Mariners. Semien hit a sharp grounder to shortstop to lead off the frame, but Taylor's throw sailed into the stands and Semien was awarded second base on the error. He then scored on Smolinski's single. Taylor then made another error on a Crisp grounder, bobbling the ball before securing it and then firing wide of first. Walker walked Billy Burns intentionally to load the bases before exiting the game, and reliever Vidal Nuno hit Vogt with a pitch, allowing Oakland to score its third run and setting up Danny Valencia for his two-RBI double off Joel Peralta.


"The eighth got away from us. We didn't make some plays we normally make. It happens, but those are plays that obviously need to be made at the big-league level. That stuff does happen. It's unfortunate, the timing of it, but it does happen." -- Servais on Taylor's two errors. .

"The guy's laying it out there, everything he's got. Every pitch, every inning. That's the way he's been for us. You shouldn't have to have that kind of motivation, but when you see that, certainly, if you don't have that feeling, something's wrong with you." -- Melvin on Hill firing up the A's offense. .


Mariners center fielder Leonys Martin, hitting leadoff for the second game in a row, went 2-for-4 and is now 11-for-16 with five walks over his past five games to raise his batting average from .203 to .259. More >


Melvin successfully challenged a safe call on an infield single by Kyle Seager in the fourth, when shortstop Marcus Semien's throw pulled first baseman Yonder Alonso off the bag. Alonso's sweeping tag appeared to go behind Seager's back, but a 32-second review showed that Alonso's mitt touched Seager's elbow and the call was overturned for the second out of the inning.


A's:Kendall Graveman (1-6, 5.48) gets the start for Oakland on Tuesday in Seattle and will be looking to break out of a personal slump. Graveman is 0-5 with a 7.92 ERA over his last five starts after going 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA in his first three this season.

Mariners:Nathan Karns (4-1, 3.33 ERA) starts Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. PT game against the A's. Since giving up four runs in five innings in losing his Mariners debut to the A's on April 9, Karns has gone 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA in seven starts, including a win at Oakland on May 2.

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