Mariners hang on to top A's in slugfest

Mariners hang on to top A's in slugfest

OAKLAND -- Two-run homers by Stefen Romero and Kyle Seager proved the difference for the Mariners in an 11-8 victory over the A's on Friday in a game featuring 28 hits, 19 runs and 15 pitchers.

Romero's first home run of the season gave Seattle a 9-5 lead after the Mariners had trailed 5-1 in the second and Seager launched his 22nd of the season in the ninth to cap a three-hit night. The A's closed the gap with three runs in the sixth, but stranded two runners in both the seventh and eighth, en route to their third straight loss. Seattle has won seven of its last 10 games to improve to 64-71 and is 10-4 on the season against Oakland (58-77).

"It's been like this for a little while," Seager said of the Mariners' bats. "The offense is swinging it like we thought we should have been the whole year."

Romero's two-run homer

Neither starting pitcher made it out of the third inning. Edgar Olmos, making his second career start for Seattle, lasted 1 1/3 innings and gave up six hits and five runs (four earned). A's rookie right-hander Aaron Brooks got bounced after giving up six hits and six runs in 2 1/3 frames.

"It was a bad night to have a bad night, especially after what our offense did," Brooks said. "I feel like I took the whole loss. The offense put us up early and I couldn't keep us there."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Valencia's grand slam

Grand opening: Danny Valencia hit the third grand slam of his career in the first inning, giving the A's a 4-0 lead without an out being recorded. He's the fifth Oakland player to hit a grand slam in the first inning, joining Dave Kingman, Matt Stairs, Mark McGwire and Brandon Moss. More >

Doubling back into it: After spotting the A's a 5-1 lead, the Mariners stormed back with six runs in the third, helped by four doubles. Ketel Marte and Seager got things started with two-baggers and Logan Morrison and Brad Miller capped the frame with back-to-back two-run doubles. Seattle's six runs and seven hits were both season highs for an inning.

Ramirez's first Mariners K

Septembers to remember: Three of the Mariners' four September callups contributed, with relievers Jose Ramirez (1 2/3 perfect innings in his Mariners debut) and Tony Zych (two scoreless innings before giving up a pair of runs in his third frame in his MLB debut) helping fill in after Olmos' short start. And Romero replaced Franklin Gutierrez (tightness in right groin) in the third inning and went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including his two-run homer to dead center in the fourth off Fernando Abad.

QUOTABLE
"We have guys with good track records and I said all along that we're going to hit. Nobody talks about it, but we're averaging close to six runs a game since the break and I don't see the guys slowing down. They've given us good at-bats, they're going at it pretty good." -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Zych made his Major League debut in the fourth and the September callup became the last player in the all-time alphabetical list of players in MLB history, replacing Dutch Zwilling, an outfielder who played in Chicago from 1910-16. The Mariners also had the first player in the alphabetical listing at one time, reliever David Aardsma.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
McClendon successfully challenged a safe call on a stolen base attempt by Billy Burns in the sixth. The original call was overturned after a one-minute, 15-second review. That made the second time Mariners rookie catcher John Hicks threw out the speedy Burns, who had been safe on 25 of 31 attempts coming into the game.

WHAT'S NEXT
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (15-8, 3.66) makes his second straight start against the A's in Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT game at the Coliseum. Hernandez held Oakland to three hits and two runs over eight frames on Aug. 26, then skipped his next start to freshen him up for the final month. Hernandez is 21-8, 2.62 in 39 career starts against the A's.

A's: Jesse Chavez (7-13, 3.93) is still looking for his first career victory over the Mariners. He's 0-5 in 15 games, including six starts, against them. Over the last two years, though, Chavez is 10-7 with a 2.76 ERA at home.

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Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com and Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.