SEATTLE – Daren Brown experienced two days of the win-with-pitching-or-else side of the Seattle Mariners. Wednesday, in his third game since replacing Don Wakamatsu as manager, Brown saw the or-else.
Hampered as much by Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden as by their own offensive deficiencies, the Mariners managed four hits and only Franklin Gutierrez’s sacrifice fly in a 5-1 loss at Safeco Field.
The loss ended the Mariners’ three-game winning streak, but they completed their first winning homestand – at 5-4 – since they won five of six games June 18-24 against the Reds and Cubs.
The Mariners will fly today to Cleveland, where Friday they begin a 12-game road trip against the Indians, Orioles, Yankees and Red Sox. The Mariners are 15-39 on the road this season, including a 7-19 road record against teams in the American League Central and East divisions.
Wednesday’s loss aside, the Mariners say they’re in a better place mentally after this homestand.
“We’ve won the last two series and it feels good to go out on the road,” designated hitter Russell Branyan said. “The main thing is keeping our heads above water, eliminating the long droughts. The last road trip we went on, when we lost all seven games, that was draining.”
Braden, who pitched a perfect game May 9 against Tampa Bay, pitched to the minimum number of Mariners through six innings Wednesday. He’d given up two hits and a walk by then, but all of those runners were eliminated on inning-ending double plays.
The Mariners managed only one scoring threat against Braden, loading the bases with one out in the seventh on singles by Ichiro Suzuki and Lopez, plus a walk by Branyan.
Gutierrez hit a pitch to deep left-center field, where left fielder Chris Carter caught it in front of the wall.
Ichiro scored on the sacrifice fly but, by then, Mariners starter Luke French already had allowed four runs.
French, who held the Royals to one run in a career-best eight innings Friday, allowed seven hits and three walks in six innings. He’s 1-3 with a 4.96 ERA.
Athletics 5, Mariners 1
LOB—Oakland 6, Seattle 2. 2B—Barton (26), M.Ellis 3 (13), R.Davis (21). RBIs—Crisp (23), M.Ellis 3 (30), Powell (8), F.Gutierrez (48). SB—M.Ellis (4). SF—F.Gutierrez. RLISP—Oakland 3 (A.Rosales, Barton, Carter); Seattle 1 (Kotchman). GIDP—Barton, Jo.Lopez, Kotchman 2. DP—Oakland 3 (Kouzmanoff, M.Ellis, Barton), (M.Ellis, Pennington, Barton), (M.Ellis, Pennington, Barton); Seattle 1 (Jo.Wilson, Kotchman).
|Braden W, 7-8||9||4||1||1||2||6||104||3.56|
|French L, 1-3||6||7||4||4||3||2||91||4.96|
IR-S—J.Wright 1-0. T—2:17. A—31,560 (47,878).