Montgomery solid into 6th, Mariners beat Athletics
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Seattle rookie Mike Montgomery knew instantly that his bid for a third consecutive shutout was over, even before Sam Fuld's first home run of the season cleared the fence in the third inning.
The ball didn't get out by much, landing just on the first few steps of the staircase beyond the right field wall at the Coliseum.
That snapped Montgomery's streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings and turned out to be one of the few mistakes the Mariners' left-hander made.
Montgomery put together another fine start, allowing six hits and one run in 5-2 innings while pitching the Mariners past the Oakland Athletics 2-1 Sunday.
''I really didn't have maybe the putaway pitches that I wanted today but I got some good groundballs when I needed to, we made some really good plays and the bullpen came in and picked me up big time,'' Montgomery said.
Coming off two straight shutouts, Montgomery (4-2) walked one and struck out two. He was trying to join Randy Johnson as the only players in franchise history to pitch three consecutive shutouts.
Fuld homered in the third for the A's only run.
''I thought he got it,'' Montgomery said. ''I left it over the middle and he took advantage of it.''
Montgomery retired the next six batters, then got some help from Seattle's defense before leaving with two on and two outs in the sixth.
''The one thing that we tend to forget that he's a young kid, he's still relatively raw,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''I think today he probably just ran out of gas a little bit.''
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
Seth Smith drove in both Seattle runs with a two-out single in the sixth off Chris Bassitt (0-2).
The Mariners announced before the game that McClendon will miss Seattle's upcoming series against Detroit to attend the funeral for his younger sister in Indiana.
Shut out twice in this series, Seattle broke through in the sixth against Bassitt. Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch, Nelson Cruz doubled and both scored on Smith's single.
Montgomery extended his scoreless streak to 20 innings before Fuld homered with one out in the third. It was Fuld's first homer since last Sept. 14, when he also connected against the Mariners.
The A's threatened in the bottom half before Mark Lowe replaced Montgomery and struck out pinch-hitter Josh Reddick.
The A's hit into double plays in three consecutive innings.
''It's extremely difficult, especially when the pitching staff is throwing like it is.'' Fuld said. ''It's frustrating any time you lose a lead.''
Bassitt, making his second start in place of ailing Oakland ace Sonny Gray, allowed five hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 5 2-3 innings.
Mariners: McClendon was expected to fly back to Seattle with the team following the game, then will travel to Indiana to be with his family. Bench coach Trent Jewett will assume the managerial duties until McClendon rejoins the team.
Athletics: INF Nate Freiman cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Nashville.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1) will be activated from the disabled list and start Monday's series opener against the Tigers. He has been out since April 24 with a strained right lat.
Athletics: Gray (9-3) starts Tuesday against the New York Yankees in his first appearance since June 25 when he had to be hospitalized for salmonella. Gray's 2.09 ERA is the second-lowest in the AL.