SEATTLE – The Mariners crept a little closer to the 100-loss mark on Thursday with an 8-1 loss to the Oakland A’s at Safeco Field.
The game was forgettable in just about every way for the Mariners, who allowed 16 hits (including two homers), committed two errors, and even had a run-scoring balk for good measure.
The defeat dropped their record to 61-98 and means the M’s will have to win two of their final three games against the A’s to avoid their second 100-loss season in the last three years.
They won’t have the luxury of starting their ace Felix Hernandez in one of them, either, as the decision was made Thursday to shut down Hernandez for the season.
Thursday’s starter, Doug Fister, was touched for 13 hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings to finish his season with a 6-14 record. Many of the hits were bloops and bleeders – until a massive two-run homer by Oakland rookie Chris Carter knocked out Fister in the sixth.
The anemic M’s, meanwhile, were throttled by Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez, who blanked them on four hits over seven innings to end Oakland’s six-game losing streak. Gonzalez, now 15-9, walked five and struck out eight.
Fister matched zeros with Gonzalez through four innings, but it began to fall apart in the fifth. With two outs and a runner on first, the A’s banged out four consecutive hits, capped by a two-run single by Jack Cust. Mark Ellis also had an RBI infield single in the rally, and a run scored on a balk by Fister when he slipped during his delivery.
Kevin Kouzmanoff opened the sixth with a single off Fister before Seattle’s rookie left fielder, Greg Halman, made a sprawling catch to rob Jeremy Hermida of a hit. Carter, who entered the game hitting just .138, then blasted a 1-0 pitch off the facade in left for his second career homer.
One of the few bright spots for the Mariners was first baseman Justin Smoak, who had homered in his previous three games and got on base all four times. Smoak ripped a double his first time up, added a single in the eighth, and had two walks in between.
Smoak came around to score the lone M’s run in the eighth, advancing on a wild pitch and two fielder’s choices. The latter netted an RBI for Halman, inducing a mock cheer from what was left of the 16,940 fans at Safeco.
Athletics 8, Mariners 1
E—Pennington (24), Jo.Wilson (22), A.Moore (4). LOB—Oakland 8, Seattle 11. 2B—Smoak (12). HR—Carter (2), Pennington (6). RBIs—M.Ellis (45), Cust 2 (51), Carter 2 (4), Pennington (45), Halman (2). SB—R.Davis (48), M.Ellis (7). S—Mangini. RLISP—Oakland 3; Seattle 7. RMU—Figgins. GIDP—Cust, Hermida, Figgins. DP—Oakland 1; Seattle 2.
|Gnlz W, 15-9||7||4||0||0||5||8||3.23|
|Fistr L, 6-14||51/3||13||6||6||0||0||4.11|
WP—Mazzaro 2, Varvaro. Balk—Fister. T—2:39. A—16,940 (47,878).