September 26, 2011 in Sports

M’s rally for Vargas

Olivo, Smoak home runs account for four runs
Associated Press
 

SEATTLE – Justin Smoak hit a three-run, tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 4-2 victory over Oakland on Monday night.

The victory gave Jason Vargas (10-13) his career-high 10th victory. He worked eight innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking none and striking out a career-high 10.

Miguel Olivo also hit a home run, a solo shot in the fifth, his 19th. That broke the club record for most home runs by a catcher, one more than both Kenji Johjima and Dan Wilson.

Brandon League finished the ninth, allowing a run on Josh Willingham’s RBI groundout, scoring Coco Crisp from third. Crisp had opened the inning with a single and stole second and third to give him 48 steals. He’s tied for the A.L. lead with New York’s Brett Gardner.

League collected his 37th save in 42 opportunities.

It was the first time this season that A’s starter Brandon McCarthy (9-9) has given up more than one home run in a game.

With the score tied 1-1 in the sixth, Dustin Ackley drilled a two-out single to center. Mike Carp dropped a single into left center, sending Ackley to third. Smoak then connected on his 15th home run, into the right-field seats.

The A’s touched Vargas in the first. Jemile Weeks lead off with a double into the left-field corner. Crisp moved him to third with a right-side groundout. Hideki Matsui scored Weeks with a flare single to left to end Matsui’s 13-game streak without an RBI, the longest stretch of his career.

No A’s player reached second after the first inning. At one point, Vargas retired 14 straight batters.

With one out in the fifth, Olivo tied it, hitting a 1-0 fastball over the left-field wall. Olivo leads the team in home runs and RBIs (62). No catcher has ever led the team in either category.

Manager Eric Wedge has had meetings with his players, coaches and front office geared toward improved 2012.

“This is going to be arguably the most important winter that these guys are going to have,” he said. “With all these young guys who are here and where they’re at and what they’ve experienced this year, they need to understand what they need to do physically to make sure they’re coming to spring training where they need to be and not leaving anything to chance.”

Mariners 4, Athletics 2

Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

J.Weeks 2b 4 1 1 0 0 1 .305

Crisp cf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .267

Matsui dh 4 0 2 1 0 1 .251

Willingham lf 4 0 0 1 0 2 .247

S.Sizemore 3b 4 0 1 0 0 2 .240

K.Suzuki c 4 0 1 0 0 1 .239

Carter 1b 3 0 0 0 0 1 .122

Taylor rf 3 0 0 0 0 2 .192

Rosales ss 3 0 1 0 0 1 .086

Totals 33 2 7 2 0 11

Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

I.Suzuki rf 4 0 1 0 0 2 .273

L.Rodriguez ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 .195

Ackley 2b 4 1 1 0 0 1 .279

Carp dh 4 1 1 0 0 1 .284

Smoak 1b 4 1 1 3 0 0 .236

Olivo c 3 1 2 1 0 0 .226

T.Robinson lf 3 0 1 0 0 1 .216

Liddi 3b 3 0 1 0 0 0 .229

M.Saunders cf 3 0 0 0 0 1 .152

Totals 32 4 8 4 0 6

Oakland 100 000 001—2 7 0

Seattle 000 013 00x—4 8 0

LOB—Oakland 4, Seattle 4. 2B—J.Weeks (25), S.Sizemore (21), Olivo (19), Liddi (2). HR—Olivo (19), off McCarthy; Smoak (15), off McCarthy. RBIs—Matsui (72), Willingham (95), Smoak 3 (55), Olivo (62). SB—Crisp 2 (48). RLSP—Oakland 1, Seattle 2. RMU—Crisp, Willingham, M.Saunders.

Oakland IP H R ER BB SO ERA

McCarthy L, 9-9 8 8 4 4 0 6 3.32

Seattle IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Vargas W, 10-13 8 5 1 1 0 10 4.25

League S, 37-42 1 2 1 1 0 1 2.79

T—2:13. A—17,057 (47,878).

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