Mariners Game Recap: Oakland A’s Fight Back to Take Opener

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The Oakland A’s (55-71) came back from 5 runs down to beat the Seattle Mariners (57-68), 11-5 on Monday night at Safeco Field. Edward Mujica (3-4, 4.97 ERA) earned the win for Oakland in the series opener. Hisashi Iwakuma (5-3, 4.29 ERA) was lit up en route to picking up the loss.

The Mariners exploded for 5 runs in the home half of the 3rd inning. Franklin Gutierrez and Mark Trumbo both went deep for Seattle in the monster inning. However, as has been the trend recently, Seattle was unable to hold the huge lead. Oakland scored 7 runs in the 5th to take the lead. Shockingly, all 7 runs were scored with 2 outs. The A’s added an insurance run in the 8th to make it an 8-5 ballgame. Oakland scored another 3 runs in the 9th to put the game out of reach.

Aug 24, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) reacts after surrendering a two-run homer against the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners were honoring Hisashi Iwakuma on Monday night, and unfortunately the 34-year-old right-hander proved to be a big disappointment. Iwakuma allowed 7 runs on 7 hits though 4.2 innings of work. ‘Kuma fanned 4 and walked 1 tonight. Command was not an issue, as 57 of his 77 pitches found the strike zone. 2015 has been an inconstant campaign for ‘Kuma, and tonight’s outing was a perfect example.

Edgar Olmos entered the game in the 5th, and proceeded to pitch 1.1 shutout innings for Seattle. Rob Rasmussen was called on in the 7th. The scuffling southpaw allowed 1 run on 2 hits in his lone inning of work. Roenis Elias made his first big league relief appearance this evening, and fared reasonably well. The 27-year-old managed to keep the A’s out of the run column in the 8th inning. David Rollins worked the 9th, and surrendered 3 runs on 5 hits.

Ketel Marte was a catalyst hitting out of the leadoff spot on Monday night. The young shortstop went 3 for 4 with a double, a run scored and 1 stole base. Marte is a very exciting player, and he showed great wheels swiping third base in the 3rd. Robinson Cano had a nice night at the dish, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored. Franklin Gutierrez came through with the hit of the night when he crushed a 3-run blast to center field in the 3rd inning. Mark Trumbo went 2 for 3 with a solo home run.

Nelson Cruz extended his on base streak to 34 games when he was hit on the right elbow by a pitch in the 3rd inning. Cruz’s incredible streak is the longest of it’s kind in baseball this season, and is by far the longest of his career. Unfortunately, he went hitless, and was unable to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Cruz is having the best season Mariners’ fans have seen since the days of Ken Griffey Jr. Many things have gone wrong for the M’s in 2015, but signing Nelson Cruz was not one of them.

Felix Doubront started the game for the A’s and pitched a pair of scoreless frames, but did surrender 4 hits before being pulled with an apparent lower body injury. The veteran southpaw struck out 4 and walked 0. Evan Scibner was hit hard by the Mariners, and allowed 5 runs on 5 hits through 2 innings. Edward Mujica entered in the 5th, and pitched 2 perfect frames. Pat Venditte is the first ambidextrous hurler in the modern era, and he gave the M’s fits tonight. Venditte registered a pair of perfect innings to preserve the A’s lead. Honestly, watching Venditte pitch was the only interesting thing that happened in this one. Drew Pomeranz came in with a 6 run cushion in the 9th, and made quick work Seattle.

It was a true team effort on Monday night for the A’s. Five separate Athletics tallied at least 2 RBI in the commanding victory. Josh Reddick led the way, going 3 for 5 with a home run and 3 RBI. Mark Canha went 2 for 4 with a double and 3 RBI. Billy Burns was 2 for 4 with a double and a pair of runs batted in. Danny Valencia clubbed a home run and plated 2 runs for the A’s. Brett Lawrie also went 2 for 4 and added 2 RBI. Stephen Vogt had a great game, going 3 for 5 with 2 doubles.

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Seattle is all but eliminated from postseason contention at this point, and tonight’s loss serves as further proof. The Mariners are 11 games back of the American League West leading Houston Astros, and trail by 7.5 games in the wildcard race.

The Seattle Mariners (57-68) will take on the Oakland Athletics (55-71) again on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Mike Montgomery (4-6, 4.16 ERA) will be tasked with evening the series for the Mariners, and Jesse Chavez (7-12, 3.75 ERA) will get the ball for the A’s. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Mariners Game Notes: 'Kuma Gets the Ball for Seattle in Opener

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