OAKLAND, Calif. — Brett Anderson had a comfortable cushion for a change. He could breathe and just pitch.
Coco Crisp and Matt Carson each hit a solo home run to back Anderson, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 6-2 on Monday.
“Brett looked like Brett,” Carson said.
Anderson (4-6) allowed four hits in a season-high 7 2-3 innings and left to a standing ovation. He ended a four-game losing streak that matched the longest of his career.
Then again, most everyone seems to be shutting down Seattle lately. The Mariners have scored three or fewer runs in 11 straight games.
Crisp homered in the first, Oakland’s only leadoff homer of the season. It was the third leadoff drive of his career and first since Aug. 18, 2003, with Cleveland against Tampa Bay.
“It’s always good to get run support, especially the first play of the game,” Anderson said. “You can settle in and throw strikes.”
Oakland has won six in a row at home against the Mariners. Franklin Gutierrez hit a solo homer in the seventh for Seattle’s first run and Jose Lopez had a ninth-inning sacrifice fly.
After Crisp homered, Daric Barton followed with a triple that took a tough bounce off the wall in right field for Ichiro Suzuki. Kurt Suzuki’s RBI groundout one batter later made it 2-0.
Crisp added an RBI single in the fourth and Jack Cust singled in a run in the seventh.
Anderson struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. He earned his second win since coming off the disabled list for a second time this year on July 30 from an elbow injury. He got Casey Kotchman to ground into a double play in the second, the first of 13 straight outs by the pitcher before Suzuki’s two-out single in the sixth.
“He’s shown he can do that before. Overall, we didn’t do a whole lot against them,” Mariners interim manager Daren Brown said. “He’s going to get ahead and pound the strike zone, and that’s what he did.”
Anderson, one of the organization’s top pitching prospects as a rookie last season, sure would like to get on a roll to end what has been an up-and-down year.
“I felt really good from the mid-to-late second inning and the rest of the way,” Anderson said. “You’ve just got to grind it out a couple more starts. I’ve pitched fairly well since coming off the DL the second time.”
Anderson was rewarded in April with a $12.5 million, four-year contract that includes club options for 2014 and 2015.
A’s manager Bob Geren wants to see Anderson stay healthy and continue to be effective.
“He feels great, his body, and he’s pitching well,” Geren said. “He’s been pretty consistent. I just feel like he’s going to finish strong.”
The A’s have won all their meetings with the Mariners in the Coliseum this season since an opening-day loss back on April 5.
Oakland won for the 15th time in its last 20 day games and improved to a major league-best 32-15 in afternoon contests.
The A’s jumped on Jason Vargas (9-9) right away. He lost his fourth straight start and was done after 4 1-3 innings, matching his shortest outing of the year. He allowed five runs and seven hits.
“They hit some balls hard and it seemed like every inning they were leading off with a double or something,” Vargas said. “You’re not expecting Coco Crisp to hit the ball out of the yard on the second pitch of the game. It was a fastball up but it was away and he still got around on it. I can’t chalk that up to anything but bad luck. It seems the last seven or eight starts guys are being a little more patient, so I started throwing more fastballs to counter that. You just have to make adjustments.”
Gutierrez returned to the lineup after missing two games with a stomach bug and recorded an RBI for the fourth straight game. He also hit a ninth-inning double.
Notes: Anderson didn’t issue a walk for the fifth time in 2010. … Carson’s fourth-inning leadoff homer snapped an 0-for-15 funk. … Anderson is 15-3 in 24 career starts when getting support of two or more runs.
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