OAKLAND -- The Mariners cruised to a 7-1 series-opening victory on Monday night, slugging four home runs -- including two off the bat of Mitch Haniger -- to snap the A's seven-game winning streak.Right-hander Felix Hernandez did his part with six strong innings, the lone damage being Marcus Semien's sixth-inning
OAKLAND -- The Mariners cruised to a 7-1 series-opening victory on Monday night, slugging four home runs -- including two off the bat of Mitch Haniger -- to snap the A's seven-game winning streak.
Right-hander Felix Hernandez did his part with six strong innings, the lone damage being Marcus Semien's sixth-inning solo shot. Hernandez, making his third start off the disabled list after being sidelined for more than a month by a shoulder issue, allowed just one other hit.
"It was a nice effort," said Seattle manager Scott Servais, whose team was mathematically eliminated from Wild Card contention on Sunday. "I know guys are disappointed with how the last homestand went, but I give our guys a lot of credit. Nobody has backed off. We talked about finishing strong. We've asked our guys to be professional and that's what they're doing."
A's starter Daniel Gossett was done in by the long ball, beginning with Mike Zunino's three-run homer in the second. Haniger tagged him for a solo shot in the third, and former Athletic Yonder Alonso followed suit in the fourth, before Haniger dealt the final blow with a two-run blast in the fifth. Gossett exited with one out in the inning.
"Poor pitching. No way to get around it," Gossett said. "Poor performance. Let the team down, let myself down with that performance. There's no other way to go about it. Just gotta pitch better."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Striking first: Gossett retired each of his first four batters, before Kyle Seager drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a base hit by Alonso. That's when Zunino stepped to the plate and drilled a Statcast-estimated 422-foot homer to center field for an early Mariners lead. It was Zunino's 24th homer of the season, an ongoing career high.
Homer happy: Haniger extended Seattle's lead in the third, working a 2-1 count against Gossett and sending the next pitch to left-center field for a solo home run. Haniger returned to the plate in the fifth, following a leadoff Ben Gamel double, and this time struck on the first pitch for a two-run blast. The rookie right fielder has been red-hot since Aug. 30, batting .370 (37-for-100) with eight homers and 16 RBIs over his last 24 games to hike his average from .240 to .277.
"You always want to finish strong," Haniger said. "That said, I'm not approaching this last week any differently. I've just been able to get in a groove, play every day and not really have anything lingering. I feel healthy, like I can go out and play and not hold anything back."
"I feel like if it wasn't right down the middle, a perfect pitch to hit, then it was in the dirt, it was buried. There was no in-between. I couldn't find that good breaking ball. Everything was center-cut or buried, nothing to swing at." -- Gossett
"You never see that. It's unbelievable for any pitcher. He's had just a fabulous career. It's been a little frustrating for him the couple years with the injuries. Certainly this year he missed a lot of time. When you don't have him in that rotation and you take him and [James] Paxton out of there, it's really been difficult for us to get things going. But this was an outstanding effort by him and it's really nice to see." -- Servais on Hernandez passing 2,500 innings with the Mariners for his career
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Zunino has 48 extra-base hits this season, passing Dan Wilson for most by a catcher during a single season in Mariners history.
Mariners: Paxton (12-5, 3.03 ERA) starts Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. PT game against the A's as he looks to lengthen out after a pair of short outings following his return from a five-week DL stint with a strained pectoral muscle. Paxton went 3 2/3 innings with four hits and two runs in his last start, a 4-2 loss to Texas. He's 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five starts against Oakland.
A's: Right-hander Daniel Mengden, who is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in three starts since his return from Triple-A Nashville, will be on the mound for Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. contest against the Mariners.
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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.