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Mariners play spoiler

Janie McCauley Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. – Mike Morse hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh and Joel Pineiro ended a three-start winless stretch with eight strong innings, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 3-2 victory over the slumping Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

The Mariners tied the game at 2 in the A’s mistake-prone seventh on Jose Lopez’s RBI single to center, then Morse followed with a sharp single down the left-field line for the go-ahead run.

Oakland lost its fourth straight game and remained 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Angels in the A.L. West race and 1 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the wild-card standings. The Angels lost at Boston and the Yankees were beaten at home by Tampa Bay.

Pineiro (6-9) won for the first time since beating Kansas City 4-3 on Aug. 16, and Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI single as the Mariners captured their first series since sweeping the Royals that same week, Aug. 15-17, during Kansas City’s club-record 19-game losing streak.

Seattle won a road series for the first time since taking all four against the Angels from July 7-10.

Pineiro allowed six hits and two runs, retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced, struck out five and walked one. Eddie Guardado finished for his 31st save.

Mark Kotsay returned to the Oakland lineup after the center fielder missed eight games with a back injury but had his share of trouble. He singled in his first at-bat, but committed two costly errors in the decisive seventh inning – surprising for one of Oakland’s most reliable gloves. Richie Sexson singled leading off the inning and went to second when Kotsay tried to pick up the ball and dropped it.

Two batters later, Lopez singled and Kotsay rushed in on the play and the ball got past him for a two-base error.

The A’s lost for the sixth time in seven games and again struggled to score despite a solid start from Joe Kennedy. Oakland was shut out 2-0 by 19-year-old phenom Felix Hernandez in the opener of the series Monday.

Mark Ellis, one of the A’s most consistent hitters recently, had a single in the first and doubled with two outs in the fifth to break a 1-all tie. But the A’s couldn’t hold the lead.

Kennedy (3-2) had four strikeouts through two innings and finished with six in 6 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits and two earned runs and didn’t walk a batter.

The lefty made this third start for the A’s since coming to the club as a reliever in a trade with Colorado on July 13 that sent popular outfielder Eric Byrnes to the Rockies briefly before he was traded on to Baltimore.

Kennedy beat the Orioles at Camden Yards on Aug. 27, then lost 3-0 to the Angels last Thursday.

Suzuki hit a two-out RBI single in the third and Jamal Strong followed with a base hit, then Kennedy retired the next 10 batters before Sexson’s single.

Notes

A’s first base coach Brad Fischer coached third base in place of Ron Washington, who left the team to visit his family in Alabama after they fled their homes in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. Bench coach Rene Lachemann filled in at first base. Washington will rejoin the team Friday. … RHP Rich Harden threw off the mound and still needs another side session before his next start, which probably won’t be this weekend after all. He is nursing a strained muscle in his right shoulder.

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