SEATTLE – There didn’t figure to be a starting pitcher dual Friday night at T-Mobile Park, not with the way Oakland A’s starter James Kaprielian had pitched this season.
But that’s what fans got, with the Seattle Mariners’ Marco Gonzales and Kaprielian matching zeros through four innings and both came through with quality starts.
Kaprielian was just a bit better than Gonzales, and despite some tense moments for the Oakland bullpen in the seventh, the Athletics ended the Mariners’ three-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory.
It wasn’t a surprise that Gonzales would pitch well against the woeful A’s, having beaten them twice already this season and going 5-0 against them since his previous loss to Oakland in 2019.
The Mariners lefty allowed 10 base runners in six innings Friday, but only two runs.
Gonzales worked out of trouble in the second inning after allowing a one-out single to Christian Bethancourt, then a double to Chad Pinder to put runners on second and third base with one out.
But Gonzales got Elvin Andrus to ground out, keeping Bethancourt at third, and Sheldon Neuse grounded out to end the inning.
Gonzalez worked around one-out hits again by Bethancourt and Pinder in the fourth.
Oakland finally broke through in the fifth, aided by uncharacteristic wildness from Gonzales. He hit Tony Kemp to start the inning, walked Ramon Laureano with one out, and Kemp scored when Sean Murphy hit a soft line drive into right field.
Kaprielian entered the game with a 0-5 record at 5.88 ERA, and had allowed seven earned runs in 10⅓ innings in his previous two starts against Seattle.
But he was sharp from the beginning Friday night against Seattle’s depleted lineup because of injuries to several top hitters and shortstop J.P. Crawford serving the second of a four-game suspension.
Kaprielian retired the Mariners on six pitches in the first inning, and needed just eight in the second while retiring Seattle’s first six hitters. Kaprielian allowed just one hit through five innings, with the Mariners unable to get a runner in scoring position.
But the Mariners broke through in the sixth. Julio Rodriguez, who had homered in the previous two games, nearly hit another one out. His line shot to center hit the wall, and he settled for a one-out triple.
Rodriguez scored on a ground out by Jesse Winker to cut Oakland’s lead to 3-1. The Mariners had a chance to score more after a double by Eugenio Suarez and a walk to Carlos Santana, but Kaprielian struck out Abraham Toro to end the inning.
That was it for Kaprielian, who had his best outing of the season, allowing the run in six innings on three hits and a walk. He struck out four
Seattle reliever Penn Murfee allowed a two-out homer to Sean Murphy to give Oakland a 3-1 lead.
The game’s pivotal moment came in the bottom of the seventh. Sam Haggerty hit a two-out single to put runners on first and second with two outs. Rodriguez walked to load the bases, but Jesse Winkler flew out sharply to center.