Mariners overcome early 5-run deficit, beat A's
SEATTLE -- Robinson Cano became the first player in Major League history to open his career with 11 straight seasons with 30 doubles, and the Mariners came from behind to top the A's, 6-5, on Tuesday at Safeco Field.
"You've just got to keep fighting and competing," Cano said after Seattle (58-68) won for the second time in its past six games. "You've got teammates here and people that follow you all over. You help each other and play hard until the season's over ... just go out there and play hard every single day."
Austin Jackson's two-run single in the fifth capped the Mariners' comeback after they'd fallen behind, 5-0. The A's, who overcame a five-run deficit to win Monday's series opener, 11-5, saw the tables turned after Marcus Semien's two-run homer in the second led their early onslaught.
Jesse Chavez took the loss for Oakland (55-72), giving up eight hits and six runs in 4 2/3 innings as he fell to 7-13 with a 4.00 ERA. Rookie left-hander Mike Montgomery lasted just 1 1/3 innings for the Mariners, giving up seven hits and five runs. After opening his career with a 1.62 ERA in seven starts, he's 0-4 with an 8.33 ERA in his last nine games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Birthday bash: Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison drove a two-run homer off the right-field foul pole in the fourth for his first long ball since July 9. LoMo's shot, on the heels of Nelson Cruz's Major League-leading 38th homer to lead off the frame, pulled Seattle within 5-3. Morrison celebrated his 28th birthday in fine fashion and now has hit .438 (7-for-16) with four runs, a triple, a homer and three RBIs on games played on Aug. 25 in his career.
"Homers are cool, and it just so happened it happened on my birthday, which is even cooler," Morrison said. "It'll give my mom and my wife something to talk about. I was hoping, praying it would stay fair. Cool it did, and it got us two runs, got us back in the game and Jax took care of the rest."
Left on left: Josh Reddick, who has seen limited action against southpaws this season, got a rare start versus one and played a big role in bouncing the left-handed Montgomery from the game so early. Reddick hit a double -- following Billy Butler's own two-bagger -- to bring in the first of four second-inning runs. Before the Mariners' rally, Oakland had plated 16 unanswered runs dating to the fifth inning of Monday's opener.
New-found relief: After Montgomery got bounced early, the Mariners beleaguered bullpen needed to step up. Recent arrivals Edgar Olmos and Logan Kensing came through with 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, holding the fort while Seattle's offense scored six straight runs to take the lead.
Olmos, a rookie southpaw making his fourth appearance, allowed three hits and two walks but kept the A's off the scoreboard for 3 2/3 frames, helped in part by a big 6-4-3 double play by Semien to escape a two-on, two-out jam in the fifth. Kensing, pitching his second game for Seattle, didn't give up a hit while striking out three and walking two in 1 2/3 innings before Carson Smith and Tom Wilhelmsen finished off the win.
"That double play was huge," said Olmos, who recorded his first career win. "I feel like that was the key to the game. [Ketel] Marte did a great job getting it to Cano, and that was an awesome play."
Ground ball gone wrong: Chavez got just what he needed with two outs and runners at the corners in the fifth, a ground ball off the bat of Cano. Except he attempted to make the play on his own, only to watch the ball deflect off his glove, giving second baseman Brett Lawrie little time to recover it. Cano safely reached first on the infield hit, not only bringing in a run but allowing the inning to continue. Two batters later, Jackson sent a go-ahead, two-run single up the middle.
"For me, it was the ground ball," Chavez said. "That's the biggest thing I'm mad about today. Homers happen. I can tip my hat. They're getting paid to put swings on the ball, too, but I make a pitch and get a ground ball to get out of the inning unscathed, and I've got to let that ball go. It's something -- me knowing I have to know who's behind me. I gotta give [Lawrie] the easiest play, and that's all on me today. That inning should not have happened. I let it snowball."
"I'm concerned. That's something we're going to have to address and figure out what we're going to do. I don't want to make quick decisions tonight. We'll think about it as a staff and figure out what we're going to do." -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon on Montgomery's continued struggles.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cruz's home run was his 11th this month with six games still to play. That ties him with Alex Rodriguez (1999) for the second-most homers in August in Mariners history behind the 12 Ken Griffey Jr. hit in '97.
A's: The A's will send Chris Bassitt to the mound in Wednesday's 12:40 p.m. PT series finale at Safeco Field. Bassitt is 1-3 in six starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on July 25 despite pitching to a 2.18 ERA in that span. Bassitt is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two appearances (one start) against the Mariners this year..
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (14-8, 3.74) will look to turn things around against the A's in Wednesday's series finale after going 2-3 with an 8.48 ERA over his past five starts. Hernandez is 20-8, 2.63 in 39 career outings against Oakland, including a 3.32 mark in three meetings this season.
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