OAKLAND, Calif. – Brandon Maurer had a rough start and a poor finish to his major league debut. The middle four innings gave the Seattle Mariners hope for a brighter future.
Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Yoenis Cespedes added a two-run shot in the sixth to lead the Oakland Athletics to an 8-2 victory over the Mariners on Thursday.
“I just think he needed to get settled in early on,” manager Eric Wedge said. “That was nothing more than that, being his first time out there. He really settled in nicely and was throwing the ball very well there for a while. Then in that sixth inning it just looked like the ball leaked back over the plate a little bit on him. He kind of got in the middle and that’s when they got to him.”
A.J. Griffin (1-0) allowed two runs in six innings and John Jaso drove in a run against his former team as the Athletics won back-to-back games to earn a split of the season-opening series.
After being held to one run and six hits in the first two games, Oakland broke out with 14 runs, 21 hits and 13 extra-base hits the past two games.
Michael Morse homered for the third straight day and joined Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997 as the only Mariners with four home runs in the first four games.
“I’m just getting some good pitches to hit and trying to put the barrel on the ball and just let things happen,” Morse said.
But that wasn’t enough as Maurer (0-1) struggled in his major league debut.
Maurer made the jump from Double-A to the majors based on a strong spring training, becoming the first Mariners pitcher in 20 years to make the opening-day rotation without pitching in Triple-A.
Maurer was Seattle’s minor league pitcher of the year last season and is being counted on to perform in the majors.
“I know what I need to learn now,” Maurer said. “I know some things I need to work on, so I’ll take that. I think I’ll be a little more comfortable the next time.”
“I’m sure he learned a lot today, and he’ll continue to learn,” Wedge said. “That’s just part of it. He threw the ball well overall.”