Cruz drives in 5 runs to help Mariners end skid
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) On a day when the Mariners got production up and down the lineup while setting a season high for scoring, Nelson Cruz pointed to Seattle’s pitching as the real key.
Specifically, Cruz noted, was the effort put out by starter Yovani Gallardo, who earned his first win in a Mariners uniform after three misses.
Cruz homered and drove in five runs, Taylor Motter hit his first career grand slam and Seattle routed the Oakland Athletics 11-1 on Sunday.
”Everything started with Gallardo,” Cruz said. ”That’s what we needed. The way he pitched was remarkable. He kept the ball down with the sinker and cutter. Hopefully he can build from that.”
Gallardo, an All-Star in 2010 for Baltimore who was acquired by Seattle in an offseason trade, was sharp while beating the A’s for the first time in seven career starts. Gallardo (1-2) struck out a season-high seven and allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings.
After giving up 11 runs in his previous three starts this season, it was a welcomed change for Gallardo.
”They had a lot of left-handed hitters in there and we mixed in some early changeups and good two-seam fastballs to get groundballs for early outs and just went from there,” Gallardo said. ”We were attacking the zone.”
Robinson Cano added two hits as the Mariners ended a three-game losing streak and won for only the second time in 11 road games.
Oakland had won five in a row.
”We expected do a little bit more,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”(Gallardo) kept us off balance today.”
Cruz drew a bases-loaded walk as part of a five-run third. He hit a three-run homer in the seventh and an RBI double in the ninth.
Motter drove a 1-0 pitch from Andrew Triggs (3-1) over the wall in left-center in the third. It was Motter’s second homer in four games and fifth this season overall.
”Everybody played well tonight,” Motter said. ”I don’t think it was just one hit. It was the combination of finally everything coming together, and it was perfect.”
Triggs, who had not allowed an earned run in 17 2/3 innings over three starts, gave up six in 4 2/3 against Seattle. His ERA rose from 0.00 to 2.42.
Ryon Healy had two hits and scored the only A’s run.
KEEPING HIS WORD
Mariners skipper Scott Servais issued a challenge to his ballclub after Saturday’s loss: Score 10 runs or more and win and he’d wear whatever the players chose during the Sunday night flight to Detroit. Initially, the plan was for Servais to wear multiple pieces of jewelry along with a pair of gold shoes owned by Cruz, but Cruz forgot to bring the shoes. ”He’s going to have a long necklace, a cross, and a big watch,” Cruz said.
Mariners: 3B Kyle Seager was a late scratch due to lingering soreness in his right hip. Mike Freeman started in Seager’s place. … 1B Daniel Vogelbach was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma before the game along with RHP Chris Heston. OF Leonys Martin was designated for assignment and RHP Chase De Jong was optioned to Tacoma.
Athletics: Sonny Gray (lat strain) struck out six and allowed one hit over five innings with Single-A Stockton on Saturday. The right-hander is scheduled to expand to 75 pitches with Triple-A Nashville on Thursday before possibly rejoining the big league club. … RHP Kendall Graveman (right shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen Monday.
The Athletics acquired OF Ryan LaMarre in a trade from the Angels in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (2-1) faces the Tigers on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series in Detroit. Hernandez has only one walk in 24 2/3 innings this season.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn pitches Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Angels. Hahn is coming off his strongest start of the season after allowing one run over six innings against Texas on Wednesday.