OAKLAND, Calif. – With the wind, Stefen Romero thought his deep fly might not have enough and he would be denied his first major league home run.
He put his head down and took off running anyway.
Romero hit it over the left field fence for a tiebreaking solo shot in the fifth inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Monday night for their third straight victory and eighth in 10 games.
Romero is taking home a souvenir ball, and the gratification of knowing why his teammates gave him the silent treatment.
“I tried to play it off a little bit and went all the way to the end of the dugout and took off my batting glove, put my bat away and tried to beeline to the edge of the dugout so they wouldn’t rush me,” Romero said. “Then (Robinson) Cano gets a base hit. After the base hit, that’s when they all just lost it and congratulated me.”
Romero, a 25-year-old rookie who homered in his 53rd career at-bat, is batting .306 over his last nine games.
Chris Young (2-0) allowed two hits over six strong innings to win his second straight start. He began the year with four straight no-decisions as he came back from shoulder surgery that caused him to miss much of 2013.
Young won back-to-back starts for the first time since May 19 and 24, 2009, for the Padres.
“Stuff-wise, I’m not there. I don’t know if I’ll ever be,” Young said. “I’ve had three shoulder operations. (But) the shoulder feels healthy.”
The right-hander faced the minimum through three innings and didn’t allow a hit until Jed Lowrie’s one-out single in the fourth. Brandon Moss hit a tying two-run homer two batters later.
“He’s 6-foot-10 and he’s throwing out of the sky,” Moss said. “It looks like he’s throwing soft and the radar gun says he’s throwing soft, but the way he pitches up and down, it makes it tough.”
Scott Kazmir (4-1), off to the best start in his career, was tagged with the loss, yielding eight hits and four runs in six innings.
“He had his way with us for two outings in a row,” M’s manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I thought our guys were probably a little bit more determined tonight, better at-bats, better approach.”