OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland Athletics are on a roll again, much like a year ago when they took off in mid-June and used a sensational second half to return to the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Mike Fiers won in his first start at the Coliseum since pitching a no-hitter earlier this month, and the A’s beat Seattle 6-5 on Saturday for their eighth straight win, a streak that has a suspended game in the middle.
Matt Chapman homered and Ramon Laureano doubled in his fifth straight game, matching Miguel Tejada for the Oakland record not accomplished since 2003.
The A’s keep winning and doing just enough, even with reigning majors home run leader Khris Davis sidelined by a bruised left hip and side.
“We have a lot of good depth and we know we have really good players, some guys on the bench who would have been starting on any other team,” Laureano said. “We feel pretty confident. Everything is clicking right now and it’s fun. We’ve got to keep it rolling.”
Domingo Santana hit two home runs and Mitch Haniger also connected for Seattle, which has lost five in a row.
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager doubled and singled in his season debut after recovering from surgery to repair a tendon in his left hand that he hurt diving for a ball during spring training.
“It feels good to be out there. It was a lot of fun being around the guys and competing,” Seager said.
With his 1,156th appearance for Seattle, Seager moved past Harold Reynolds into seventh place in club history for games played.
Fiers (4-3) received a warm welcome when introduced before the game, his first at home since throwing a no-hitter against Cincinnati on May 7. He went six innings against Seattle, allowing three runs and five hits.
Blake Treinen gave up Santana’s home run in the ninth before finishing for his 10th save in 12 tries.
On June 15 last year, the A’s trailed Seattle by 11 games, then wound up with 97 wins and a wild card. They certainly hope this current run might lead to another surge.
Yusei Kikuchi (3-2) faced Oakland for the third time in as many ballparks this season. The Japanese lefty previously pitched against the A’s in Tokyo and Seattle, taking a no-decision each time. He was done after 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs and 10 hits – matching his most surrendered this year.
Marcus Semien hit an RBI single that broke a 3-all tie in the fourth, and Chad Pinder followed with a two-run double. Laureano, who has an eight-game hitting streak and also stole a base, provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
“He’s swinging the bat great. He’s feeling pretty confident, too,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I think we’re about ready to see him start to heat up.”
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