October 4, 2010 in Sports

Mariners look to future as A’s send Seattle to 101st loss

Kirby Arnold Everett Herald
Associated Press photo

Seattle’s Matt Mangini reacts after a foul bunt in the ninth inning of Sunday’s season-ending loss to Oakland.
(Full-size photo)

How low

can you go?

A look at some of the Mariners’ franchise records set this season:

• .236 team batting average, lowest in franchise history

• 513 runs, fewest of any full season

• 101 home runs, franchise low

SEATTLE – Nobody with the Seattle Mariners was immune from the strain of a 101-loss season that ended Sunday with a 4-3 defeat to the Oakland A’s.

But there were three young players in the clubhouse late Sunday afternoon – Justin Smoak, Adam Moore and Michael Saunders – determined to channel what they endured in 2010 into something more enjoyable in 2011.

The Mariners played their final games this season hoping to get a better idea if Smoak, a 23-year-old power-hitting switch hitter, is their first baseman of the future; if Moore, 26, can be the offensive-minded catcher they projected since they drafted him in 2006; and if Saunders, 23, can become a regular corner outfielder with offensive production to match.

Smoak finished with a .218 batting average, 13 home runs and a 10-game hitting streak during which he batted .441.

Moore hit safely in seven of the final eight games he played. He finished with a .195 average, four homers and 15 RBIs.

Saunders batted .211 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs in 100 games.

“Hopefully, it’s something that everyone learns from,” Saunders said. “On a personal standpoint, it’s not a year that I’m particularly proud off.”

Smoak, who went 1 for 3 Sunday and hit an RBI single in the eighth inning, said he put too much pressure on himself after the Mariners acquired him from the Texas Rangers on July 9 in the Cliff Lee trade. He suffered through a 2-for-36 stretch in late July before the Mariners sent him to Triple-A Tacoma. Recalled Sept. 18, he batted .340 with three home runs and eight RBI in his final 13 games.

“I had ups and downs and learned a lot this year,” Smoak said. “I feel a lot better where I am now and I’m looking forward to spring training.”

Athletics 4, Mariners 3

R.Davis cf 512000.284
M.Ellis 2b 512100.291
Cust dh 400002.272
K.Suzuki c 412100.242
Kouzmanoff 3b 311110.247
Carter lf 302111.186
1-Gross pr-lf 000000.239
Donaldson 1b 200000.156
a-Barton ph 100001.273
Larish 1b 100001.179
Hermida rf 401001.216
Pennington ss 400001.250
Totals 36410427
I.Suzuki rf 512200.315
Figgins 2b 401001.259
F.Gutierrez dh 300001.245
b-Jo.Lopez ph-dh 100000.239
Smoak 1b 301110.218
2-Langerhans pr 000000.196
Kotchman 1b 000000.217
J.Bard c 401000.214
M.Saunders lf 401002.211
Halman cf 412002.138
Mangini 3b 412001.211
Jo.Wilson ss 400002.227
Totals 36310319
Oakland 001101010—4100
Seattle 000020010—3101

a-struck out for Donaldson in the 6th. 1-ran for Carter in the 8th. 2-ran for Smoak in the 8th. E—Rowland-Smith (2). LOB—Oakland 7, Seattle 7. 2B—R.Davis (28), M.Ellis (24), I.Suzuki (30). HR—K.Suzuki (13), off Rowland-Smith; Kouzmanoff (16), off Olson. RBIs—M.Ellis (49), K.Suzuki (71), Kouzmanoff (71), Carter (7), I.Suzuki 2 (43), Smoak (48). SB—I.Suzuki (42). CS—R.Davis (11). RLSP—Oakland 5 (Cust 2, Hermida 3); Seattle 5 (J.Bard, Figgins, Jo.Wilson, M.Saunders, I.Suzuki). RMU—M.Ellis, Jo.Lopez. GIDP—J.Bard.

DP—Oakland 1 (Pennington, Donaldson).

Braden W, 11-14 552212763.50
Bonser H, 3 100001156.12
H.Rodriguez H, 3 12/321104374.55
Breslow S, 5-7 11/330002293.01
Rowlnd-Smith 542213736.75
Varvaro L, 0-1 1/3211101811.25
J.Wright 11/320002214.17
Olson 11/321102234.54
League 100000103.42

IR-S—Breslow 1-1, J.Wright 3-1, Olson 1-0. WP—H.Rodriguez, Olson. Balk—Breslow. T—2:53. A—23,263 (47,878).

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