M’s cure for what ailed A’s
SEATTLE – After losing five games in a row, the Oakland Athletics were ready for something to go right. So when Josh Donaldson gave the A’s an early lead with a solo home run in the second inning, his teammates got a confidence boost.
“It was nice,” Donaldson said. “I could tell on the bench a little bit, everybody could just – there was a little sigh of relief. We got a lead, and let’s play the game the way we know how.”
A couple of more homers by Daric Barton and Brandon Moss helped Oakland add to the lead, just enough to hold off the Seattle Mariners’ late comeback attempts as the Athletics earned a 4-3 win Saturday night.
Jarrod Parker (2-5) did his part on the mound, holding the Mariners hitless until Kelly Shoppach’s two-out, two-run homer on a 3-2 pitch in the fifth inning.
Parker left in the seventh after giving up another two hits and a run. From there, the Mariners made several pushes for a comeback but came up short, stranding runners in scoring position in each of the last three innings as the Athletics’ bullpen kept pitching out of jams.
“That’s something they do,” Parker said. “They’re a confident bunch of guys. For them to get themselves in a little bit of trouble, I don’t think they fret. Nobody else does.”
Jed Lowrie had three hits and an RBI for Oakland, which ended its season-long losing streak.
The Mariners were hoping starter Brandon Maurer (2-5) would benefit from 10 days rest – his spot in the rotation was skipped after he gave up four runs in four innings against Baltimore on April 30 – but the rookie had another tough outing, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings.
“It took a while to settle in there, so I was rushing quite a bit at the beginning,” Mauer said.
The Mariners’ offense couldn’t muster more than a few walks until their half of the fifth, when Shoppach hit his second homer of the season to right field with two outs and a man on.
Moss hit his solo homer in the sixth to push Oakland’s lead to 4-2.
The Mariners mounted several comeback efforts in the late innings. Justin Smoak and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back one-out singles in the seventh off Parker, who was relieved by Sean Doolittle. Ackley then followed with another single to score Smoak before Doolittle got out of the jam.
The 6 1/3 innings tied Parker’s longest outing this season.
Grant Balfour pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances.