The Mariners erupt for 16 hits, one off their season high, to support the strong pitching of Blake Beavan. Dustin Ackley had a triple, double and three RBIs, while Brendan Ryan and Miguel Olivo each had three hits. Every starter had a hit except Adam Kennedy,and non-starter Justin Smoak had two hits. He entered the game in the third after Chone Figgins suffered a hip flexor injury. It got a little tense in the ninth,with a Kurt Suzuki homer and then runners on second and third with two outs, but League got Josh WIllingham to ground out.
MARINERS SEVENTH: The M’s get another run on an Ichiro RBI single after Justin Smoak’s double. Smoak has two hits and a walk in three plate appearances on a night he wasn’t even supposed to play. 8-3 Mariners.
OAKLAND SIXTH: Three up, three down for Beavan. He’s retired seven in a row and hasn’t allowed a hit since the third. 7-1 Mariners.
UPDATE: Chone Figgins left the game with a right hip flexor and is day to day. M’s add another run in fifth when Smoak, who had singled, scores on a wild pitch. 6-1 Mariners.
OAKLAND FIFTH: Beavan is cruising now as he puts down the top of Oakland’s order 1-2-3. It’s 6-1 Mariners.
MARINERS FOURTH: The M’s add a run on Miguel Olivo’s two-out RBI single. They missed a chance for more when Mike Carp was caught off third on Casper Well’s second hit of the game for the final out. The M’s already have 11 hits through four. 6-1 Mariners.
OAKLAND FOURTH: Beavan walks Suzuki with two outs but gets a fielder’s choice. 5-1 Mariners.
MARINERS THIRD: The Mariners had runners on first and second with one out but couldn’t score. Justin Smoak pinch-hit for Chone Figgins — no word on why, but Figgins may have hurt himself on diving stop in first inning. 5-1 Mariners.
OAKLAND THIRD: The A’s score one, but it could have been worse had not Franklin Gutierrez made a diving catch of a drive by Hideki Matsui with Coco Crisp on third. Instead of extra bases, Matsui settled for a sac fly — and Josh Willingham followed with a two-out double. Sweeney flew out for the third out. 5-1 Mariners.
MARINERS SECOND: M’s bat around against Trevor Cahill and score five runs on five hits. The big one was a bases-loaded triple by Dustin Ackley, a sinking liner to right that got by Ryan Sweeney as he tried for a sliding catch. Franklin Gutierrez had an RBI double, and Brendan Ryan singled in a run. 5-0 Mariners.
OAKLAND SECOND: Beavan has a much easier inning, getting the A’s 1-2-3 on a liner to Ichiro (nice shoestring grab), a lazy fly to center, and a drive by Scott Sizemore that Gutierrez ran down. 0-0.
MARINERS FIRST: M’s squander a rally of their own, getting a one-out double by Brendan Ryan, who moves up to third on Dustin Ackley’s ground out. Mike Carp walked, but Adam Kennedy flew out to center. 0-0.
OAKLAND FIRST: Some fancy pitching by Beavan to work out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam. He strikes out Josh Willingham and Ryan Sweeney — both looking — and gets Conor Jackson to fly out to left on a 3-1 pitch. Leadoff hitter Jemile Weeks hit a shot off Beavan’s left ankle or foot for a single. The trainer came out, and Beavan took a few trial pitches but stayed in the game. 0-0.
Former Mariners manager Bob Melvin makes his first appearance at Safeco Field as manager of the Oakland A’s; he took over for the fired Bob Geren on June 9. They are 22-23 under his watch.
The A’s are coming off back-to-back series wins over Tampa Bay and Minnesota, and the key has been an offensive revival. They have collected at least eight hits in each of the 16 games since the All-Star break, setting an Oakland record for consecutive games with eight or more hits (the old mark was 15, Sept. 12-27, 1980). Their team batting average of .316 since the break is highest in the majors, as is their slugging percentage of .479 and on-base percentage of .388.
One interesting note: Ichiro and Oakland outfielder Hideki Matsui begin play tonight with the same number of career doubles between MLB and Japan: 484. That’s three behind Kazuyoshi Tatsunami of the Chunichi Dragons, who holds the Japanese career record for doubles with 487.
The Mariners could use this series to help pull themselves out of last place in the AL West. They are 3 1/2 games behind the third-place A’s.