OAKLAND, Calif. – The Seattle Mariners watched Oakland make a playoff push with a pair of dramatic weekend wins.
So close sometimes, these Mariners. They missed chances in the early innings, just as they did all series in being swept.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to move Oakland a win closer to the club’s first playoff berth in six years, and the A’s beat Seattle 5-2 on Sunday to stay right on the heels of Texas in the A.L. West race.
“That’s really been the story of our season offensively,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “Without a doubt these kids have gotten better individually, but collectively we’ve got to do better when you do create those opportunities and finish things off.”
Cespedes also hit an RBI triple and Brandon Moss had a sacrifice fly in the first inning for the A’s, who pulled within two games of Texas. The Rangers and Athletics close out the regular season with a three-game series in Oakland.
Oakland leads Los Angeles by 3 games for the second A.L. wild card. The Angels close out the regular season with three games against the Mariners in Seattle.
Cespedes sent a 1-2 pitch from Shawn Kelley (2-4) into the seats for his 23rd homer. Josh Reddick connected with a two-run shot for his team-leading 32nd homer two batters later.
Sean Doolittle (2-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the win, and Greg Balfour finished for his 22nd save.
Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak each hit RBI singles in the third as Seattle tied it at 2-all. The M’s were 0 for 17 with runners in scoring position this series before Carlos Triunfel’s second-inning single, but Smoak was thrown out at home.
Athletics 5, Mariners 2
LOB—Sea 8, Oak 5. 2B—Gutierrez 2 (10), Ryan (19). 3B—C.Wells (3), Cespedes (5). HR—Cespedes (23), off Kelley; Reddick (32), off Luetge. RBIs—Seager (84), Smoak (50), Cespedes 2 (82), Moss (48), Reddick 2 (83). SB—Crisp (38), Moss (1). SF—Moss. RLSP—Sea 5, Oak 3. RISP—Sea 5 for 15; Oak 2 for 7. GIDP—J.Montero, Crisp. DP—Sea 1, Oak 1.
IR-S—Furbush 1-0, Neshek 1-0, Blevins 2-0. T—3:17. A—21,057 (35,067).