LoMo lifts Mariners over A's with walk-off blast in 11th
By Jane Lee and Doug Miller
SEATTLE -- The Mariners needed a momentum-shifter and got it.The A's continue to try to figure out how to break out of their own slump. Logan Morrison's first-pitch, walk-off home run against Dan Otero in the 11th inning gave Seattle a 4-3 win over Oakland on Friday night at Safeco Field, and it provided a happy homecoming in a game between teams still trying to find their groove in 2015.
The late histrionics were only made possible by a hard-fought, see-saw battle. The Mariners took a 1-0 lead on A's starter Sonny Gray on a Kyle Seager double and Morrison RBI single in the bottom of the second inning, but Oakland answered with a run on a Billy Butler RBI base hit in the top of the third. And after the A's took a 3-1 lead on a two-run homer by Josh Reddick in the fifth, the Mariners got to the A's bullpen in the seventh, scoring two to tie it.
Gray was excellent, if not pitch-efficient. He went six innings and gave up one run on six hits while striking out nine and walking two. The right-hander threw 104 pitches, 67 of which were strikes. Mariners starter Taijuan Walker lasted five innings and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out six and walking two. He threw 97 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Precarious 'pen: The A's bullpen faltered again, suffering its ninth loss of the season, charged to Otero. This time, it was Evan Scribner, who entered the game riding an 8 2/3-inning scoreless streak, who was charged with two pivotal runs. The right-hander allowed a leadoff base hit to Dustin Ackley, who scored on Brad Miller's two-out double. That's when A's manager Bob Melvin turned to left-hander Fernando Abad, who offered up a game-tying double to Robinson Cano. More >
"It's getting to the point where it's very frustrating," Reddick said. "But those guys are big league pitchers. They're here for a reason. Nobody is here to badmouth anybody. But at some point we've got to have somebody that steps up, bottom line."
Clutch late rally ties it: The Mariners wouldn't give up and got things going as soon as Gray was out of the game. In the seventh inning, Seattle got back-to-back, two-out RBI doubles by Cano and Miller to tie the game at 3. For Cano, it was only his second RBI in his last 11 games.
"I've said this before, I love my guys. We've had some ups and downs, but I think, in the end, the talent will come to the top." -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon on the win
WHAT'S NEXT Athletics: The A's will send right-hander Jesse Hahn to the mound for the middle matchup of this three-game set at Safeco Field at 6:10 p.m. (PT) on Saturday. Hahn already faced the Mariners this year, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision on April 12.
Mariners: Left-hander J.A. Happ will take the hill against the A's, whom he has had quite a bit of success against. Happ is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 24 2/3 career innings against Oakland. Happ's lone start vs. the A's this year was his first start as a Mariner. It came on April 11 and Happ got a no-decision after giving up two runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in Oakland.