OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon certainly was happy with his team’s offense, especially with the Mariners’ top slugger and leading hitter both on the bench.
Then again, McClendon has been pleased with the club’s offense since the All-Star break, even if it might be too late to get the Mariners back into the playoff hunt.
Logan Morrison had three hits, including a two-run double as part of Seattle’s six-run third inning, and the Mariners held off the Oakland Athletics 11-8 on Friday night.
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Kyle Seager and Stefen Romero both homered while Brad Miller drove in three runs for the Mariners, who won their third straight to clinch the season series between the division rivals.
”I’ve said that all along, that they were going to hit,” McClendon said. ”Nobody really talks about it, we’re averaging close to six runs a game since the break. I don’t see the guys slowing down. They’re giving us good at-bats.”
The Mariners have hit 48 home runs since Aug. 1, including the two against the A’s. They’re also batting .284 over their last 24 road games.
Seager, whose 22nd home run of the season in the ninth gave Seattle some much-needed breathing room, credited the Mariners’ turnaround to an attitude change.
”There is so much more confidence, especially as of late,” Seager said. ”It’s been like this for a little while. The offense has really swinging like we should have been the whole year.”
Jose Ramirez (1-0), the second of eight Seattle pitchers, retired five batters for the win.
The two teams, who entered with the worst records in the AL West, combined for 28 hits, including six doubles, one triple and three home runs.
Danny Valencia had two hits, including a grand slam for Oakland.
Seattle – playing without Nelson Cruz – trailed 4-0 and 5-1 before scoring a season-high six runs while batting around in the third.
Romero, a September call-up who entered the game in the bottom of the second after Franklin Gutierrez was forced out with tightness in his right groin, had an RBI single as part of Seattle’s big inning. He hit his first homer of the season in the fourth.
The A’s pulled to 9-8 in the sixth before Seager hit his 22nd home run in the ninth.
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
Most of the scoring came in the first four innings after both starters were knocked out of the game.
The A’s took an early lead on Valencia’s third career grand slam off a 1-1 pitch from Seattle’s Edgar Olmos. Olmos retired just four batters and gave up five runs in his second major league start.
Brett Lawrie’s RBI double in the second extended Oakland’s lead to 5-1 before Seattle roared back with a season-high six runs in the third against Aaron Brooks. The Mariners had four doubles in the inning, including back-to-back from Morrison and Brad Miller that drove in two runs apiece.
”It’s always nice to get off to a good start but it wasn’t enough,” Valencia said. ”It’s frustrating but that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s tough when you’re not winning.”
Brooks (1-2) allowed six runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Marcus Semien had a two-run triple for the A’s.
Mariners: OF Nelson Cruz (right quad strain) was held out and might not play on Saturday, either. … LHP Joe Beimel was activated from the disabled list.
Athletics: Stephen Vogt had a pinch-hit single in the seventh after being scratched from the starting lineup due to soreness in his right elbow. … OF Coco Crisp singled as a pinch-hitter in the sixth after sitting out three games with a sore neck. … OF Sam Fuld continues to be sidelined with back spasms. … RHP Sean Nolin was recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game and is scheduled to pitch the finale of this series.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (15-8) has 21 career wins against the A’s but lost in his last appearance at Oakland on July 4, his first there since 2008.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez (7-13) has given up at least one home run in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak by an Oakland pitcher over the past two seasons.