Mariners lose series opener to A's 8-2
The start of Eric Wedge's final series as manager of the Seattle Mariners played out as so many games during his three-year tenure have previously - with little offense and a squandered performance from ace Felix Hernandez.
Brandon Moss hit a three-run home run off Hernandez in the first inning to give the A's an early cushion and Seattle's offense couldn't solve A's starter Bartolo Colon as the Mariners fell 8-2 to the Athletics on Friday night.
Wedge told his bosses Friday he will not return for next season, saying it became obvious he did not have a future with the club.
''It's got to the point where it's painfully obvious to me that I just wasn't going to be able to move forward with this organization,'' he said before the game.
''We see things differently and we talked about it, but it just got to the point where I couldn't continue to move forward. Ultimately, I didn't feel like I could continue to manage here with the circumstances the way they are.''
Seattle, which has never reached the World Series is assured of its fourth straight losing season and dropped to 70-90.
Wedge informed his players after batting practice of his decision to leave the team at season's end. He will manage the remaining two games of the season this weekend.
''(I) told them how much I cared about them and I'm only a phone call away,'' Wedge said of the message to the team. ''Three games left, let's go out and play baseball and see what happens.''
Hernandez said the news of Wedge's departure was difficult for the team to take.
''It's hard. It's a sad day for everybody,'' Hernandez said. ''He's a great guy. A great leader. I don't know what to say. It's unbelievable.''
Hernandez (12-10) gave up three runs and five hits in six innings with six strikeouts and a walk, retiring 13 of his final 14 batters. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner finished the season with his fewest wins since going 9-11 in 2008.
''I needed to throw a lot more strikes,'' Hernandez said. ''I was all over the place the first two innings. After the third, I was just trying to throw strikes and finish the hitters.''
Hernandez entered with 14 2-3 scoreless innings against the A's this season.
''He's tough. We've obviously had our struggles against him,'' Moss said. ''Most people do have trouble with him, but tonight we were able to get to him early and give Bartolo some run support.''
With 216 strikeouts in 204 1-3 innings, Hernandez joined Randy Johnson as the only Mariners pitchers with five seasons with 200 innings and 200 strikeouts.
Hernandez topped 200 innings for the sixth straight season and is the first major leaguer since Johan Santana (2004-08) with five consecutive seasons with 200 innings and 200 strikeouts.
Oakland increased its lead to 5-2 in the seventh when Oliver Perez walked Josh Reddick on four pitches and pinch-hitter Derek Norris homered. Josh Donaldson added an RBI groundout against Carter Capps. Norris hit an RBI double in the eighth off Tom Wilhelmsen and scored on Daric Barton's single.
Colon (18-6) became the first major leaguer in his 40s to win 18 games or more since Jamie Moyer was 21-7 for Seattle in 2003.
Colon allowed two runs and three hits for the AL West champions, including solo home runs by Franklin Gutierrez in the first and Kendrys Morales in the sixth. His 2.65 ERA is second in the AL behind the 2.64 of Detroit's Anibal Sanchez, scheduled to start Saturday at Miami.
Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour completed the four-hitter.
Coco Crisp went 4 for 5 with a run scored, his third four-hit game this year.
NOTES: Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes left in the fourth inning with shoulder stiffness. He was playing in the field for the first time since Sept. 13. Manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes was day to day but there's a ''good chance'' he won't play Saturday. The injury had not affected Cespedes at the plate until Friday night when he aggravated it swinging. ... Norris became the fifth Oakland player with three or more pinch homers in a season, the first since Jeff Burroughs in 1982. He's 3 for 15 as a pinch hitter this year.