SEATTLE – Matt Olson hit a home run for the second straight game to lead a five-run first inning and the Oakland Athletics powered past the Seattle Mariners 7-4 on Sunday.
The win gave the Athletics their seventh win in nine games, and ninth in their last 12. They are 18-8 since June 9, thanks in part to a string of 12 consecutive games with home runs that continued Sunday.
Olson’s 19th homer, a three-run shot to right field off opener Matt Carasiti (0-1) in the first, and Marcus Semien’s solo homer in the second helped the A’s carve out a 6-0 lead. Ramon Laureano added his 16th homer, off the left-field foul pole, in the eighth. The homers helped Oakland extend its team record to 145 home runs before the All-Star break. They have 24 during the 12-game span.
The Mariners had been fairly effective using an opener until Sunday. The A’s jumped on Carasiti from the start, dropping Seattle to 5-7 with an opener on the mound. Semien singled to start the game, Robbie Grossman drew a walk and Olson made it 3-0 before many fans were seated.
After a strikeout, Carasiti gave up a double to Mark Canha and a single to Laureano, prompting manager Scott Servais to go to bulk-innings pitcher Wade LeBlanc earlier than planned.
LeBlanc gave up a run-scoring single to Chad Pinder and left fielder Dylan Moore compounded the mistake by allowing the ball to skate past him to the warning track. Laureano turned that bungle into a run for the 5-0 lead.
Carasiti had been sharp in the opener role in four previous appearances, allowing just five hits and one run. But on Sunday he gave up six hits and five runs – four earned – on 28 pitches, immediately taking the pressure off A’s starter Daniel Mengden (4-1).
Mengden was sharp against the Mariners, with the exception of Omar Narvaez. The catcher hit his 13th home run in the second and came up with run-scoring singles after leadoff doubles by Domingo Santana in the fourth and J.P. Crawford in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-3. Mengden allowed six hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.
Narvaez added his second solo shot in the eighth inning against reliever Joakim Soria to finish 4 for 4 with four RBIs. It was his first career multiple homer game and his 14 home runs are a team record for a catcher before the break.
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