Jun 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) talks with Seattle pitching coach Carl Willis (48) and catcher Mike Zununo (3) with his interpreter (right) during the fifth inning in a game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

A's series still a success

Going into Sunday’s game in Oakland, the onus was on the Mariners to deliver their first sweep of the season and perhaps turn their lackluster first 2.5 months around. It was the third time in their last four series that Seattle had a chance to get the sweep in the series’ final game, and both of the last two were miserable crash and burn efforts.

On Sunday, not much changed. The M’s lost 10-2 and didn’t hit Bartolo Colon well after the second inning. Perhaps more startlingly, Hisashi Iwakuma only lasted five innings and allowed four earned runs. It was debatably his worst start of 2013. Even when he held Oakland scoreless for the first three innings, he worked out of tough jams in each frame.

Lost in another failed sweep is the fact that the Mariners just took two out of three games on the road against the American League’s best team.

The A’s recently shot past Texas for first place in the American League West, and were probably baseball’s hottest team going into this weekend. The last time they lost a series was May 15 to the Rangers. They pretty much caused the decline of the White Sox’s season, beating them five out of seven in that stretch. They entered the weekend coming off a sweep of the Yankees.

And yet Joe Saunders won a game on the road, Felix dominated again, Henry Blanco produced some magic and the Mariners took two out of three from the best team in the league at their hottest point of the season. Even though Sunday’s game sucked, Mariners fans can’t lose track of how big a coup this series really was for a young, struggling Seattle squad.

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