May 9, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Nelson Cruz (23) slides safely into home to score a run in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners (13-17) capitalized on the Oakland Athletics’ (12-20) mistakes, winning 7-2 on Saturday night at Safeco Field. With the win, the Mariners have taken the first 2 games of the 3-game weekend series. J.A. Happ (3-1, 3.29 ERA) was solid picking up his 3rd victory of the season. Jesse Hahn (1-3, 4.73 ERA) looked uncomfortable tonight, but his defense did not do him any favors.
The M’s put up a pair of runs in the top of the 1st inning tonight at Safeco Field. Robinson Cano netted a 2-out single to give the Mariners their first baserunner of the night. Cano advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Nelson Cruz doubled home Cano on a line drive to center field. Logan Morrison hit what appeared to be an inning ending ground out to Marcus Semien, but the ball skipped past the A’s shortstop. Cruz broke for the plate and Semien committed his second error on the play, sending it over Josh Phegley‘s head. Semien’s errors gave the Mariners an early 2-0 lead.
Seattle added to their lead in the home half of the second inning. Dustin Ackley led off the frame with a line drive single to center field. Ackley proceeded to swipe second base, and Seth Smith cashed in the bearded beast on a double to right field. Smith’s double gave the M’s a 3-0 lead after the first 2 innings.
The A’s cut into the Mariners’ lead in the top of the 5th inning. With 2 out in the inning, Marcus Semien and Josh Reddick worked walks to spark the Athletics’ rally. Billy Butler made Happ pay for extending the inning by singling home Semien on a ground ball to center field. Butler’s double made it a 3-1 game.
The Mariners put some more breathing room between the A’s and themselves in the bottom of the 5th. Seth Smith led off the inning with a line drive single to right field. Robinson Cano connected on a single to put runners on first and second with 1 out. Nelson Cruz hit a sharp ground ball to third base that could have been an inning ending double play. Instead, Brett Lawrie airmailed the throw, and Smith and Cano scored on the throwing error. Lawrie’s miscue gave the M’s a 5-1 lead after 5.
The M’s extended their lead once again in the home half of the 6th inning. Chris Taylor has struggled since his call-up, but he laced a leadoff single to left field. The cacophony of errors continued, as Jesse Hahn threw wide of first base on a pickoff attempt. Taylor advanced to second base on the error. Seth Smith walked on 4 pitches, and Robby Cano plated Taylor on a seeing eye single to center field. Cano’s RBI single made it a 6-1 ballgame heading to the 7th inning.
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Danny Farquhar ran into some trouble in the top of the 8th inning tonight. Lord Farquhar allowed 3 of the 4 hitters he faced to reach base, and he surrendered a leadoff home run to Mark Canha. The A’s talented rookie has cooled significantly over the past few weeks, but he remains one of the top youngsters in the American League. Canha’s blast shrunk the M’s lead to 4 runs.
Seattle always seemed to have an answer tonight, and they made it a 5-run ballgame in the bottom of the 8th inning. Justin Ruggiano led things off for the Mariners with a single to left field. Brad Miller put together a fantastic at bat, working an 8-pitch walk. Cano popped out, but Nelson Cruz was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ruggiano sprinted home to score on a Fernando Abad wild pitch, and Seattle held a 7-2 lead after 8.
Next: J.A. Happ with Another Strong Outing