SEATTLE – The warm feel of being back home again seemed to fade for the Seattle Mariners as the cool night air and opposing pitcher put a deep freeze on their bats.
For the third time already this season, the Oakland Athletics trotted out Bartolo Colon to face the Mariners and he looked every bit as good as he did in the second game of the season. Good enough to hand the Mariners a 4-0 defeat in front of 46,026 fans at a sold-out Safeco Field opener Friday night, when two early runs off Felix Hernandez were all the visitors needed.
Hernandez was also making his third start of the season against Oakland. While he was better than he’d been at the Coliseum last weekend in giving up six earned runs, he was dancing in and out of trouble for a good part of his seven innings.
The A’s scored twice in the third. Cliff Pennington doubled off the center-field wall to bring home Daric Barton from first base. Then, after a walk, Coco Crisp hit a single to left that Chone Figgins bobbled as he charged it.
Hernandez had plenty of early damage control to do. He got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth inning and again in the fifth when he needed consecutive groundouts to keep it a two-run game.
Colon, meanwhile, kept breezing along with little in the way of trouble other than a deep fly ball to right by Michael Saunders with two men on. The ball wound up hooking just wide of the foul pole, allowing Colon to maintain the lead and later strike Saunders out looking on a call the M’s outfielder visibly disagreed with.
Colon faced little difficultly after the Saunders foul ball, retiring the final nine batters he faced. One of those, Kyle Seager, should have reached on at least a single when replays showed center fielder Orlando Cespedes appearing to trap his fly ball to lead off the seventh. But the play was ruled a catch.
Colon held the Mariners to just a run over eight innings in Japan to hand Seattle its first loss of the season. Then, in Oakland, the Mariners jumped all over Colon for seven runs over 4 1/3 innings before hanging on for an 8-7 victory after the A’s roughed up Hernandez a bit.
On his way to Seattle this week, Mike Cameron decided he wanted to retire as a Mariner. He made it official Friday before throwing out the first pitch at the M’s home opener.
It’s a largely ceremonial move. Cameron was signed for the 2012 season by Washington, but informed the Nationals shortly before spring training that he planned to retire. The Mariners said they had Cameron sign a one-day employment agreement that had no effect on his playing status.
Cameron says he felt most at home playing in Seattle from 2000-03, of any of his stops.
• Seattle placed left-handed reliever George Sherrill on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 10 with a strained flexor bundle in his left elbow.
Sherrill has appeared in two games and allowed four earned runs and six hits, including two homers, in just 1 1/3 innings.
Seattle recalled left-hander Charlie Furbush from Triple-A Tacoma, where he’s given up just one hit in four innings.
Furbush was on Seattle’s opening day roster in Japan, but was optioned to Tacoma on April 4.