OAKLAND, Calif. — Brandon McCarthy pitched a three-hitter for his first shutout in more than two years, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.
McCarthy (8-7) matched his career high of 10 strikeouts and faced only four over the minimum while beating Seattle for the first time in three starts this season. The right-hander allowed three singles and finished the gem in style, slipping a called third strike past Mike Carp on his 114th pitch.
Cliff Pennington had a two-run double and Scott Sizemore homered to help the A’s win their third straight after dropping five in a row.
Oakland’s second straight win at home came after a 4-6 road trip that included long rain delays, a doubleheader in Boston and a a 16-inning loss to Cleveland.
Guillermo Moscoso got the A’s rolling with a solid start in the series opener, then McCarthy followed it up with his masterpiece.
Dustin Ackley, Ichiro Suzuki and Josh Bard had the Mariners’ only hits. Seattle also had a runner reach on an error but couldn’t sustain much of anything against McCarthy.
McCarthy’s fourth complete game of the season was his first shutout since blanking Houston on May 24, 2009, when he was still with Texas.
Seattle was shut out for the 13th time this season. The Mariners were held to three hits or fewer for the ninth time this year.
The A’s didn’t get their first runner until Kurt Suzuki’s one-out walk in the third. Jemille Weeks followed with an infield single on a ball that glanced off the glove of diving second baseman Ackley.
Oakland got another infield hit almost the same way off Michael Pineda in the fourth when first baseman Justin Smoak knocked down Hideki Matsui’s leadoff grounder but was unable to make a play.
But the A’s made the most of that one.
Matsui went to second on David DeJesus’ one-out single, and both runners scored when Pennington doubled down the left-field line on a 3-0 pitch with two down.
Pennington also committed his team-leading 20th error of the season when he bobbled Kyle Seager’s grounder to shortstop in the fifth. It was the A’s 109th error, the club’s most since making a franchise-record 125 in 2001.
Sizemore hit his eighth home run of the season leading off the fifth.
Pineda (9-9) didn’t pitch poorly, allowing only five hits and striking out seven. But the All-Star rookie didn’t receive any run support and remained winless in his last five starts.
The Mariners didn’t have more than one baserunner in any inning and only got two as far as second base.
Ichiro finished 1 for 4 and needs 42 hits over the final 24 games to reach 200 for the 11th consecutive season.
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