SEATTLE – Oakland’s Gregorio Petit and Bobby Crosby both had the same thought as the ball cracked off Petit’s bat toward right field with two outs in the ninth: Ichiro Suzuki.
“He’s got a hose,” Petit said about Seattle’s All-Star right fielder.
Fortunately for Crosby and the A’s, Ichiro’s arm wasn’t good enough this time.
Crosby raced through a stop sign at third base and crashed over Seattle catcher Rob Johnson to score the winning run as Oakland rallied with runs in the final two innings for a 3-2 win over the Mariners on Saturday night.
Petit capped his three-hit season debut by lining a two-out, full-count fastball from Seattle’s David Aardsma into right field. It was a sharp single that was fielded cleanly by Ichiro and in a spot where a good throw would easily beat Crosby to the plate.
While Ichiro’s throw was on line, it didn’t get to Johnson on the fly. The young catcher couldn’t handle the difficult hop as Crosby – who admitted afterward to missing third-base coach Mike Gallego’s sign to stop at third – plowed into him to help Oakland break a seven-game losing streak to the Mariners.
“I saw the throw and assumed it was going to be an easy out,” Aardsma said.
Instead it was Aardsma (0-1) getting tagged with his first loss of the season as Seattle’s bullpen that has been so solid was leaky on this night.
The A’s got a run in the eighth when Ryan Sweeney dropped a double just in front of Endy Chavez’s diving attempt in left off Mark Lowe. Two batters later, Jason Giambi beat the shift of the Mariners infield, grounding a single right where shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt would normally be playing. Sweeney jogged home and Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn was erased from the decision.
Aardsma walked Crosby on four pitches with one out in the ninth. Crosby stole second with Petit at the plate as Johnson’s throw was slightly to the third base side of the bag, then raced home with the winning run.
“I was thinking of scoring. Right when it was hit I knew it was hit to the wrong guy. I know what kind of arm he’s got,” Crosby said. “I just put my head down. Probably should have looked.”
Petit, who was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Friday to take the spot of injured third baseman Eric Chavez, had a career-high three hits in his first game since last August.
“When I get in the game I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can,” Petit said. “I just tried to do my best and everything came nice and I’m happy.
While Seattle’s bullpen scuffled, the A’s combo of Andrew Bailey and Michael Wuertz were solid.
Bailey (3-0) gave up the lead in the seventh as Seattle pieced together three singles and a run-scoring sacrifice fly from Chavez that gave Seattle a 2-1 lead. But he settled down for a quick eighth, and Wuertz pitched the ninth for his second save in two opportunities and just the third save of his career.
With the teams wearing the 1939 uniforms of the Seattle Rainiers and the Oakland Oaks from the old Pacific Coast League, Washburn and Oakland starter Trevor Cahill twirled a good ol’ pitchers dual. But neither was involved in the decision as this one rested with the bullpens.
Washburn pitched seven strong innings for Seattle, but missed out on his fourth victory. Except for his last start against the Angels, Washburn has been outstanding. He gave up just one run and five hits in his seven innings of work against the A’s, and struck out six.
Washburn’s only mistake was Giambi’s two-out double in the sixth that allowed Petit to score from first base.
Cahill was equally strong, allowing only Russell Branyan’s second homer in as many games. Cahill took a no-hitter into the seventh inning earlier this season against Seattle, only to lose that game 1-0.
The throwback game featured an organist, swing dancers and black and white images on the video replay screen and hand-operated sailboat races beyond the outfield wall.
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