Mariners 4, Athletics 0
Not all rookies get a reigning Cy Young Award winner to
That’s just what Seattle’s Michael Pineda tried to do on Friday
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
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.