Mariners 4, Athletics 0

Not all rookies get a reigning Cy Young Award winner to

copy.

That’s just what Seattle’s Michael Pineda tried to do on Friday

night.

Pineda noticed a night earlier that Felix Hernandez had success

against Oakland working both sides of the plate, so when Pineda

took the mound the burly rookie tried to emulate what Hernandez

did.

He nearly matched the Mariners ace.

Pineda dazzled again, throwing six shutout innings for his third

straight victory, and Adam Kennedy’s two-run single was enough

offense in the Mariners’ 4-0 win over the Athletics.

On the way to setting a little franchise history, Pineda

overcame a high pitch-count in the early innings and some adversity

in the sixth to become the first pitcher in Seattle history to

begin his career with four consecutive quality starts.

”For a young man, he has a strong focus out there,” Seattle

manager Eric Wedge said. ”He doesn’t let things speed up on him

and you have to keep pitching and I think that’s the most important

part of that.”

Pineda has gone at least six innings every time out, and gave up

five hits, struck out five and walked only two. He became just the

second rookie in club history to post three victories in April,

joining Freddy Garcia, and has a chance to own the mark himself

with one more scheduled start this time.

Pineda’s night was shortened only because of a rising pitch

count. Most of those were racked up in the second inning where he

threw 31 pitches and allowed consecutive walks to lead off before

getting strikeouts of Mark Ellis and Kevin Kouzmanoff and a

groundout by Cliff Pennington.

The burly right-hander gave up just three hits in his first five

innings and when Pineda (3-1) faced trouble in the sixth, he got

Kurt Suzuki to line out to left field and a ground ball from Ellis

to end the threat. Pineda felt his motion was too quick in the

early innings and was opening his front shoulder too quickly. He

made a change in the third and rolled until the sixth, helped along

by a biting slider.

”My slider now, it’s better,” Pineda said. ”In spring

training, sometimes it was good, but now since I first started here

my slider has been pretty good.”

Pineda also got great defense at times. Kouzmanoff led off the

fifth with a single and stood at third with one out. Pineda came

inside on Coco Crisp, forcing a grounder to first. Kennedy threw

home to Miguel Olivo and got the tag on Kouzmanoff, who might have

scored with a better slide.

Wilson also started a key double play in the seventh with a

sliding stop that was turned nicely by shortstop Brendan Ryan.

Instead of using his backhand to start the double play, Wilson

smothered the ball then shoveled to Ryan. It’s another part of

Wilson’s transition to second base he’s continuing to work on.

”It’s definitely a back hand (play), but at this point, I did

what I needed to do to get the job done,” Wilson said.

David Pauley and Aaron Laffey worked two innings of relief.

Jamey Wright entered in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out

before Brandon League got Conor Jackson to ground into a

game-ending double play for his fifth save in five chances.

Oakland has now gone 18 innings since last scoring and was shut

out in consecutive games for the first time since May 2008.

Seattle got just seven hits themselves, but took advantage of

seven walks allowed by the A’s. Kennedy scored on Wilson’s two-out

single in the second off Oakland starter Tyson Ross (1-2), then

drove home a pair in the fifth, lining Jerry Blevins’ breaking ball

back up the middle to score Chone Figgins and Michael Saunders.

Ross lasted just 4 1-3 innings and threw just 31 of his 76

pitches for strikes.

”His fastball command wasn’t as close to where it was this

spring or remotely close to where it needs to be,” Oakland manager

Bob Geren said.

NOTES: Seattle 1B Justin Smoak, on the bereavement list

following the death of his father, is expected to rejoin the

Mariners in Detroit on Tuesday. … Friday was the birthday of Ross

(24) and Oakland reliever David Purcey (29). Purcey threw 1 1-3

innings of relief and didn’t allow a hit. … Seattle LF Milton

Bradley left in the third inning with lower back spasms. …

Seattle has pushed LHP Erik Bedard back and will have RHP Felix

Hernandez start on normal rest Tuesday at Detroit. Bedard will now

go on Wednesday.