OAKLAND -- Rookie first baseman Dae-Ho Lee launched two home runs and Nelson Cruz added a bomb of his own as the Mariners outslugged the A's, 9-8, on Wednesday to finish off a three-game sweep at the Coliseum.
Lee, a 33-year-old Korean who played the past four years in Japan, put Seattle ahead with his second homer of the day, a two-run shot off John Axford in the seventh as the Mariners overcame an 8-4 deficit.
"He hasn't played a lot, but when he has he's found a way to contribute. It's been awesome," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We don't win that game without him getting the big hits."
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was knocked out by a six-run fifth inning, with four of the runs unearned after errors on Hernandez and third baseman Kyle Seager. The A's helped their cause with six singles that frame -- the last two coming off reliever Vidal Nuno -- as they sent Hernandez to his earliest exit of the season. The no-decision leaves Hernandez at 2-2 with a 2.21 ERA in six starts.
"We finally get some hits, make him work and get some runs off him and then we let him off the hook," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Overall, it was disappointing."
A's rookie Sean Manaea had been cruising with a 2-0 lead until two outs in the fifth, when he gave up four runs on five straight hits, including Cruz's two-run blast out to the seats in center. Manaea, making his second Major League start, wound up allowing seven hits and four runs with six strikeouts in five frames in his second straight no-decision.
• No win for the King, but Felix relishes rally
The Mariners have won six straight series and 14 of their last 19 games and lead the American League West with a 16-11 record. The A's have lost four straight in falling to 13-16.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Boomstick reaches the upper tank: Not a lot of hitters have provided souvenirs for the fans in the second deck in straightaway center field at the Coliseum, but Cruz launched a ball there in the fifth inning with a two-run blast. Cruz's fifth homer of the year capped a four-run rally as the Mariners put together five straight two-out hits against Manaea to take a 4-2 lead. More >
"Just another homer," Cruz said with a smile. "We'll enjoy it after the season, then we can watch highlights."
Burning down the line:Billy Burns turned a sacrifice bunt into a base hit that loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth. Hernandez looked to third for a play before throwing to first, way too late. That helped open the floodgates for a six-run inning, of which two were earned.
A day for Dae-Ho: Lee hasn't played much lately as the Mariners have faced a steady stream of right-handed pitchers, but the platoon first baseman brought Seattle from behind with his two bombs -- a solo shot in the sixth chipping the A's lead to 8-5 and then his two-run bolt in the seventh giving them a 9-8 lead. Lee, who hit 31 homers in Japan last year, now has four in 32 at-bats for the Mariners.
"I'm happy that we won the game. I was waiting for the lefty, but the righty came up. But still, I did it," Lee said after Servais left him in to do his damage against two right-handed relievers in Ryan Dull and Axford.
Second start same as the first: Manaea has no-decisions in both of his big league starts. He gave up four fifth-inning runs to the Mariners and left with an 8-4 lead the bullpen could not hold. More >
"We should have gotten him deeper into that game," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "His slider was sharp and his fastball command was better. Outside of four pitches, he was outstanding."
"Those are the kind of wins that stick with you for a while. The guys believed, the whole time. When we got down, in the dugout there was never any doubt that we were going to get back in it. Huge hits today. Today the offense will get the credit, no doubt. Pitching has carried us for the majority of the year, but our offense really stepped up." -- Servais
"We're not happy with the way we're playing at home. We know we have to get better. Our fans deserve better." -- Vogt, on the A's 5-11 record at home
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Opposing hitters were 1-for-35 with runners in scoring position against Hernandez this season until the A's got back-to-back singles in that situation during their six-run fifth. The next two batters reached on a fielder's choice and error, so Hernandez is now 3-for-39 (.077) with RISP on the year.
Mariners:Wade Miley (2-2, 5.06 ERA) pitches the opener of a four-game series in Houston on Thursday in a 5:10 p.m. PT game at Minute Maid Park. The 29-year-old lefty is coming off his first career shutout, a five-hit gem against the Royals, and he's won his last two starts after a slow start for his new club.
Athletics: Following an off-day, Rich Hill (3-2, 2.53 ERA) makes the start Friday when the A's open a three-game series in Baltimore at 4:05 p.m. The left-hander, who pitched for the Orioles in 2009, is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three road starts this season.
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