Mariners Dump A's 5-3

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SEATTLE -- Jose Lopez homered, newly acquired Bill Hall drove in two runs and Luke French won his third game in four decisions as a Mariner in Seattle's 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

Relievers Miguel Batista, Mark Lowe and David Aardsma kept Oakland scoreless over the final 4 1/3 innings.

The Mariners missed All-Star leadoff man Ichiro Suzuki for the entire series because of a sore calf. Yet the AL's lowest-scoring team swept three games from the team ranked last in the league in slugging percentage, extra-base hits and home runs entering Wednesday.

It was Seattle's first series sweep since June 19-21, against Arizona.

Aardsma allowed a ground-ball single to Mark Ellis and a bloop hit to Ryan Sweeney to begin the ninth. He struck out Tommy Everidge looking at a 96 mph fastball almost down the middle. Pinch-hitter Nomar Garciaparra then looked at another 96 mph pitch on the inside corner for strike three, with the veteran protesting to umpire Dan Bellino it was off the plate. Adam Kennedy grounded out to conclude Aardsma's 30th save in 34 chances, as the Mariners stayed on the fringes of the wild-card race, 7 1/2 games behind front-running Boston.

Lopez's 19th home run of the season was a two-run shot in the first off Gio Gonzalez.

Hall singled under Gonzalez's glove in the third to score Jack Hannahan, after the former Athletic had doubled. In the fifth, Gonzalez (4-5) walked Hannahan and Lopez doubled him to third. Hall made it 4-1 with a sacrifice fly.

Hall's other two-RBI game with Seattle was Friday at Cleveland, his first game after a trade from Milwaukee.

French (4-3), making his fifth start since Seattle acquired him from Detroit in the Jarrod Washburn trade, allowed Oakland back into it in the sixth. Rajai Davis singled leading off, then Kurt Suzuki hit an 0-2 changeup for his 11th home run.

One out later, Jack Cust hit a drive down the right-field line and off a seldom-reached, top window of a restaurant. First-base umpire Mike Winters ruled it foul. A's manager Bob Geren came out and asked Winters, the crew chief, "That went over the pole, didn't it?"

After a couple minutes' delay for a review, Winters emerged with his crew and again signaled foul ball instead of a tying home run. Cust struck out, Ellis walked and French left.

The 23-year-old left-hander allowed six hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Seattle's insurance run came in the seventh. Center fielder Davis, who had a deep fly ball by Mike Sweeney go off his glove for a generously scored double following Lopez's homer in the first, dropped another deep fly by Lopez for a two-base error. Sweeney followed with a broken-bat single, and Seattle led 5-3.

The unearned run was only the second off reliever Jeff Gray in 11 appearances this season.

Oakland scored in the fourth when Cust hit another towering drive to right, this one plenty fair for his 20th home run.

It's his third consecutive season with at least 20 homers. He had five home runs in 169 plate appearances for four other teams dating to 2001, before San Diego traded him to the A's for cash in May 2007.


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