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Mariners sail past A's in blowout victory

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The Mariners rolled over Kendall Graveman and the A's on Saturday afternoon, tagging the right-hander for eight runs while cruising to a 14-3 series-clinching victory behind Felix Hernandez at the Coliseum.

Nelson Cruz totaled three hits, including two doubles in his first two at-bats, with the second plating two runs in a four-run third inning. Norichika Aoki also notched two doubles as part of a three-hit day, the latter bringing in an additional two runs in the sixth to send Graveman out of the game. Seattle finished with 17 hits, getting at least two from seven players.

Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- The Mariners rolled over Kendall Graveman and the A's on Saturday afternoon, tagging the right-hander for eight runs while cruising to a 14-3 series-clinching victory behind Felix Hernandez at the Coliseum.

Nelson Cruz totaled three hits, including two doubles in his first two at-bats, with the second plating two runs in a four-run third inning. Norichika Aoki also notched two doubles as part of a three-hit day, the latter bringing in an additional two runs in the sixth to send Graveman out of the game. Seattle finished with 17 hits, getting at least two from seven players.

Full Game Coverage

"Outstanding offensive day, agaisnt a guy who had been throwing the ball really well," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Our guys, their timing is good, their rhythm is good in the batter's box. It's up and down the lineup, it's not just one or two guys carrying us."

Video: SEA@OAK: Sucre plates Cano on infield single

The onslaught hardly resembled Graveman's recent body of work; undoubtedly the A's most consistent starter this season, he allowed career highs in runs (8) and hits (12) in five-plus innings, after pitching to a 3.18 ERA in his previous 18 starts. Just four runs scored under his watch in his prior 29 innings.

"I didn't get ahead of hitters like I've been," Graveman said. "I just didn't overall locate the ball as well as I have in the past. Just get back to it and continue to work and finish out the last couple strong and wash this one away. To have an outing like that is disappointing, but I've learned in the past you can't dwell on it."

Video: SEA@OAK: Felix holds A's scoreless through six in win

Hernandez, meanwhile, did his part with six scoreless innings, and Kyle Seager collected home run No. 28 in the win, which has the Mariners 3 1/2 games back of an American League Wild Card position.

Video: SEA@OAK: Mariners plate six in the 7th to extend lead

Oakland's lone offensive highlight came courtesy of rookie third baseman Ryon Healy, who hit his eighth home run, a two-run shot, in the eighth inning.

Video: SEA@OAK: Healy goes deep in the 8th inning

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Breaking a trend: Opposing batters were hitting just .176 against Graveman in his past three starts. But the Mariners halted that trend, scoring six runs on eight hits in the first three innings. The group also mashed three extra-base hits, including Cruz's two doubles. The designated hitter has reached base safely in 13 straight games against Oakland and is 10-for-15 lifetime against Graveman.

Video: SEA@OAK: Cruz plates a pair with double to left

"He's got good pitches, it's just the way it goes," Cruz said. "He was throwing the ball in, and I reacted to the pitch. It's just baseball."

Bad match: The Mariners have continually proven to be a challenging matchup for Graveman, who has struggled against a slew of their best hitters. Seattle's 2-3-4 trio of Seth Smith, Robinson Cano and Cruz are 24-for-43 (.558) against the right-hander. On Saturday, they reached base a combined six times during Graveman's time on the bump.

Video: SEA@OAK: Aoki scores on double play in the 1st

"He was behind a bit more, the ball was running off the plate a little more, and when he came in for a strike, those guys swung the bat well," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Historically, there are some guys over there with some good numbers off him, but the way he's been pitching, that shouldn't be a factor. Just one of those games [when] he was a bit off and didn't have command of his fastball like he normally does."

Streaking Seager: After going hitless in the series opener, Seager returned to form Saturday, finishing 2-for-5 with one home run and two RBIs. Seager is batting .357 with 25 RBIs and eight home runs since Aug. 6.

Video: SEA@OAK: Seager plates Cruz with RBI knock

WHAT'S NEXT
Mariners: James Paxton will take the ball when the Mariners and A's conclude their three-game series at the Coliseum Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PT. He'll look to bounce back from his last outing, in which he surrendered six runs (four earned) in 4 1/3 innings to the Rangers.

A's: Right-hander Raul Alcantara is set to make the second start of his big league career on Sunday. Alcantara endured a shaky debut Monday, allowing five runs across three innings against the Angels, hitting three batters and walking another.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norichika Aoki, Nelson Cruz, Ryon Healy, Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager