Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Dustin Ackley hit a bases-loaded triple to highlight a five-run second inning that catapulted the Mariners over the Athletics, 8-4, in the opener of a three-game series. Brendan Ryan and Miguel Olivo each had three hits and knocked in a run for Seattle, which got 6 2/3 quality innings from rookie Blake Beavan (2-2) to win for the third time in five games.
Trevor Cahill (9-10) was tagged with seven runs on 12 hits in four-plus innings for the A’s, who had taken two of three from the Twins over the weekend.
“It just didn’t end up being a great game for us all the way around,” said A’s interim manager Bob Melvin. “We had the bases loaded, nobody out and then we don’t score, that took a little momentum away from us and we just didn’t play real crisply after that.”
More than the loss, the A’s revealed that shortstop Cliff Pennington was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunctional nerve. He carried a 15-game hitting streak into the contest but was pulled in the sixth inning, having gone 0-for-2. Pennington is set to start medication and is listed as day-to-day, according to MLB.com.
Oakland had a chance to score immediately, loading the bases with nobody out in the first inning. But the A’s came up empty after Beavan struck out Josh Willingham and Ryan Sweeney before getting Conor Jackson to fly out.
“First three hitters I just wasn’t getting the ball down and hitting my spots where I wanted to, and they obviously made me pay for it,” Beavan said. “[I was] just fortunate with the defense and made some pitches when I needed to, to get out of it.”
Franklin Gutierrez plated the first run of the pivotal second frame with a run-scoring double, matching his RBI total for July. With the bases loaded later in the frame, Ryan singled to make it 2-0, and Ackley followed with a sinking liner in front of a diving Sweeney in right. The ball bounced over Sweeney’s glove and rolled to the wall for a bases-clearing triple.
Hideki Matsui got Oakland on the board in the third when his sacrifice fly plated Coco Crisp. The Mariners added a run in the fourth on Olivo’s run-scoring infield single, and Justin Smoak raced home on a wild pitch an inning later for a 7-1 cushion. Kurt Suzuki doubled in a run and scored in the seventh, and Smoak came in again in the bottom half on Ichiro Suzuki’s infield hit. Kurt Suzuki’s solo shot off Brandon League in the ninth capped the scoring.
Beavan has recorded a quality start in each of his first five outings…The A’s had 11 hits and extended their streak of eight of more hits to 17 games, an Oakland record…Seattle had 16 hits and went 7-for-20 with runners in scoring position.