Jose Lopez blooped an RBI single in the 15th inning and the Seattle Mariners, after pulling off a pair of late rallies, beat the Oakland Athletics 8-7 Sunday in the longest game in the majors this season.
Kenji Johjima hit a tying home run in the ninth and Ichiro Suzuki’s two-out single in the 13th capped a three-run comeback for the Mariners. A throwing error by Dana Eveland (1-2) set up the winning run.
The game lasted 5 hours, 2 minutes. It was the longest game by innings and time in 2009, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
Franklin Gutierrez opened the 15th with a soft single against Eveland, who started Friday night and pitched 4 2-3 innings. Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a sacrifice bunt that Eveland threw wildly into center field, putting runners at second and third.
Suzuki was intentionally walked to set up Lopez with the bases loaded. He lifted a shallow fly, but center fielder Rajai Davis broke back on the ball and couldn’t recover in time to catch it.
Lopez had a chance to win it in the 13th after Suzuki’s tying single, but he fouled with runners at the corners.
Jason Vargas (1-0), called up Saturday from Triple-A Tacoma, picked up the win. It was his first big league appearance since July 3, 2007, with the Mets.
Johjima’s solo homer with one out in the ninth made it 4-all. He connected off Russ Springer, seeking his first save since 2001 when he was with Arizona.
Springer was forced into the closer’s role because Brad Ziegler has had the flu for the past four days. Springer also gave up the game-winning hit to Lopez in the Mariners’ 8-7 victory Friday night.
The A’s scored three times in the 13th off Miguel Batista, the seventh of eight Seattle pitchers. Landon Powell, who had three hits, put Oakland ahead with a two-run double and scored on a single by Orlando Cabrera.
The Mariners made it 7-all in the bottom half against Gio Gonzalez, recalled from Triple-A Sacramento Saturday. Gutierrez drew a bases-loaded walk, Betancourt had an RBI groundout and Suzuki slapped a single up the middle.
Mike Sweeney hit a two-run homer for the Mariners in the fourth — his first home runs since April 26, 2008, with Oakland against Seattle.
Jack Cust also hit a two-run shot for the A’s.
A’s rookie starter Josh Outman had held the Mariners to four hits over the first six innings, leaving with a 4-2 lead. Notes: Plate umpire Derryl Cousins worked his 4,000th major league game. … The Mariners signed OF Jerry Owens to a minor league deal. He was designated for assignment by the White Sox on May 1 and elected to become a free agent. … Mariners reliever Denny Stark entered the game in the seventh after more than four years away from the game. He last pitched for Colorado on July 19, 2004, then underwent two elbow transplant surgeries. He came up with the Mariners in 1999 and last pitched for Seattle on Oct. 6, 2001.