We head to the top of the eighth with the M’s down 6-1 after both teams exchanged a run apiece in the seventh.
Franklin Gutierrez led the seventh off with a solo homer against Brett Anderson, just the second run allowed by the A’s starter versus Seattle in 26 innings this season.
But Daric Barton singled in the bottom of the frame, took second on a groundout and scored on a single to right by Jack Cust.
2:38 p.m.: Jason Vargas got hit hard and often today and that’s why he was pulled from the game one out into the fifth inning. The M’s trail 5-0 in the sixth, all five runs charged to lefty Vargas, who yielded a leadoff double to Jack Cust his final frame.
That was followed by a deep flyout to left — deep enough to advance the runner to third.
Mariners manager Daren Brown had seen enough and brought in Brian Sweeney to face right-handed batter Rajai Davis at that point. Davis got just enough of one for a sac fly to center to bring the fifth run home. The 4 1/3 innings ties for the shortest Vargas outing of the season, his last time being back on July 28 in Chicago.
Seattle has just two hits off Brett Anderson through six innings — Ichiro coming up with a two-out single in the sixth. Since blanking the Mariners on three hits over six innings his first start of the season, Anderson has just two wins since.
But he’s about to get another. So far, in 25 innings versus the M’s this season, Anderson has allowed just one earned run.
2:18 p.m.: Well, the Mariners will definitely need more than three runs today as they trail 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning.
Oakland scored two more in the fourth, with Matt Carson — having a great day on defense as well — led off with a home run well beyond the fence in left. Michael Saunders then lost a popup in the sun that fell in for a Steve Tolleson double. Tolleson later scored on a single by Coco Crisp, so there we are.
M’s just went 1-2-3 as I was typing this. They have four innings left to score at least four runs — something they haven’t done in 10 straight games. Anyone care to place a bet?
1:29 p.m.: Already looking like one of those afternoons here in Oakland, the M’s down 2-0 after a half-inning of play.
Jason Vargas gave up a leadoff homer to Coco Crisp on the second pitch he threw, then a triple by Daric Barton off the right field wall that had Ichiro tied up like a pretzel without the mustard.
Kurt Suzuki grounded out after that to score the second run.
Jack Cust walked and Mark Ellis reached on an infield hit before Vargas got a pair of popouts to end the frame.
Ichiro had reached on an error to start the game, but then Matt Carson made a great, diving catch in foul territory down the right field line for the first out. Franklin Gutierrez then struck out on a hit and run call and Ichiro was hung out to dry at second. He was thrown out by such a wide distance, he actually had time to stop and try to reverse his tracks.
In better news, Nick Franklin is now 2-for-3 today with a pair of singles in his Class AA debut for West Tennessee.
1 p.m.: Seattle tries to score more than three runs in a game for the first time since a 4-2 win in Boston 12 days ago. The Mariners have scored more than three runs just once in their last 14 games.
They’ll likely need more than that today. Mariners starter Jason Vargas has allowed three runs or more in his last four outings.