Vargas hurls complete-game win for Seattle
OAKLAND, Calif. — Jason Vargas pitched a seven-hitter to win for the first time in more than a month, and the Seattle Mariners snapped Oakland’s five-game winning streak with a 7-1 victory Saturday night.
Kyle Seager hit a bases-loaded double to drive in three, Brendan Ryan added a two-RBI double in the second and Ichiro Suzuki singled up the middle in the fifth to snap a career-worst 0-for-23 hitless stretch as the Mariners scored their most runs since a 14-10 loss at Arizona on June 20.
Vargas tossed his sixth career complete game and first since July 6 last year at Oakland. He struck out six and walked one in a 107-pitch gem that featured four double plays by his defense.
Casper Wells homered to help Vargas (8-7) end a five-start winless stretch in which he went 0-3 since a win at Anaheim on June 4.
Vargas allowed his majors-high 23rd home run to Josh Reddick in the first, but during one stretch late in the game retired 13 straight. Reddick became the first A’s player since Nick Swisher in 2006 to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break.
Reddick also ran from right field into center to make a diving catch and rob Ichiro of a hit leading off the third.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the first when John Jaso singled and center fielder Coco Crisp appeared to lose the ball in the sun for a two-base error, allowing Michael Saunders to score.
Reddick’s homer in the bottom half gave the A’s a homer in 17 straight games, their most since also doing so in 2002. They haven’t gone more than 17 games in a row with a longball since a pair of 18-game stretches in 1999.
Seattle’s offense bounced back against Oakland starter Jarrod Parker (5-4) a day after the A’s won 4-1 in 11 innings Friday night on Chris Carter’s game-ending three-run homer.
Parker was tagged for six hits and six runs — five earned — in 4 2-3 innings to have his three-game winning streak snapped. The right-hander, who beat the Mariners at Safeco Field on June 27 striking out a career-high nine, struck out six and walked two. Parker had allowed one or fewer runs in each of his previous four starts.
A’s cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes went 0 for 3 with a walk and is just 1 for 19 on the homestand, though lately has looked fully healthy from a strained left hamstring that sidelined him for nine games in a 10-game stretch last month.
Ichiro, who’d been mired in a 0-for-23 funk since a seventh-inning single June 30 against Boston, also singled in the seventh after starting a game batting second for the first time in his career as manager Eric Wedge tried to get him going. After his single in the fifth, Suzuki stole his 12th base.
It was just the third time in his career he had a hitless streak of 20 games or longer and topped a 0-for-22 slump from July 30-Aug. 5, 2005.
Wedge plans to keep Dustin Ackley in the leadoff spot and Ichiro second again Sunday.
“I don’t want to just cruise into the break not trying to do everything we can do,” Wedge said. “It’s one helluva frustrating process to sit down and put a lineup together right now because people aren’t doing their job. After a while, you’ve got to get tired of getting your teeth kicked in.”
There was a brief delay in the middle of the seventh when an advertising sign behind home plate got stuck on white.
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