SEATTLE – Hisashi Iwakuma retired 16 straight over one stretch of a solid seven-inning outing, Raul Ibanez homered for the first time in nearly a month and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.
Iwakuma (4-1) took a one-hitter into the sixth inning before running into trouble, putting together another impressive outing to help cement himself and Felix Hernandez as one of the top rotation duos in baseball. Iwakuma has allowed five earned runs over his last five starts, and the number could have been even smaller if not for a scoring change that ended up tagging him with two earned runs against the A’s.
Iwakuma pitched ahead nearly from the start after Seattle scored twice in the first off Oakland starter Dan Straily (1-1). Seattle broke the game open with Ibanez’s three-run homer in the third inning that came with two outs.
Oakland lost its season-high fifth straight and dipped below .500 since starting the season 1-2. The A’s fell to 2-6 on their current 10-game road trip and only once has Oakland scored more than three runs.
Overshadowed by Hernandez, the ace of the Mariners staff, Iwakuma has been nearly as solid this season. He’s pitched at least six innings in seven of eight starts despite being bothered by a lingering blister on his pitching hand, and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any start.
Iwakuma gave up a solid leadoff single to right field to John Jaso and then was unhittable for the next five innings. He set down 15 straight with remarkable ease, through a combination of broken bats, weak groundballs and lazy flies. He struck out Yoenis Cespedes to close the first, struck out Derek Norris and Jaso in the third and retired Josh Donaldson and Daric Barton swinging to end the fifth.
|Oakland||000||002||010 – 3||5||0|
|Seattle||203||010||00x – 6||7||0|
LOB – Oakland 2, Seattle 5. 2B – Lowrie (12), K.Morales (8), Smoak (6). HR – D.Norris (1), off O.Perez; Ibanez (3), off Straily. RBIs – Lowrie 2 (17), D.Norris (6), K.Morales (14), Morse (15), Smoak (6), Ibanez 3 (9). SB – Seager (1). RLISP – Oakland 1, Seattle 4. RMU – S.Smith. GIDP – Ryan. DP – Oakland 1.
IR-S – Resop 1-0. HBP – K.Morales. WP – Iwakuma. T – 2:41. A – 25,509 (47,476).