April 4, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Game thread: Athletics 8, Mariners 2, top of 9th
Brandon Maurer just gave three more runs right back to the A’s to make it 6-2 for Oakland in the bottom of the sixth. Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick hit back-toback doubles and then Yoenis Cespedes followed with a two-run homer lined over the left field wall.
Maurer has given runs back twice today after the Mariners scored in the top of an inning. He’ll have to watch that because there’s little a pitcher can do to deflate a team more. The Mariners are close to splitting this series after winning the first two games.
2:12 p.m.: Michael Morse just opened the sixth with his fourth home run in the last three games to cut the Oakland lead to 3-2. Morse drilled a 1-1 pitch from A.J. Griffin for a no-doubter beyond the left field wall. My pick in the Seattle Times Swing for the Fences contest (Justin Smoak) is getting obliterated by Morse in the monthly home run chase. Then again, so is every other Mariners player.
Morse becomes the only Mariners player other than Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) to hit four home runs in his first four games.
2:02 p.m.: Another rookie no-no of sorts as Brandon Maurer gives Oakland the run right back in the fifth by allowing a leadoff double to left by Chris Young. A wild pitch moved the runner to third and then former Mariners catcher John Jaso bounced a ball through the right side for the RBI single.
Seattle now trails 3-1 heading to the top of the sixth.
1:50 p.m.: After slumbering through a good part of this game, the Mariners woke up on offense in the fifth inning to cut Oakland’s lead to 2-1. Dustin Ackley reached on an infield single and then Kelly Shoppach singled as well — the first hits of the year for both — followed by a Robert Andino bunt that moved both runners up. Michael Saunders got the run in with a sacrifice fly to left.
Franklin Gutierrez then drew a walk to put two on for Raul Ibanez, but he hit a pop-up coralled by third baseman Josh Donaldson in shallow left.
Brandon Maurer has recovered from his rough start and found a bit of a groove the last three innings. After hitting Chris Young with a pitch to open the second inning, he’s retired all other batters since, mainly on grounders but also with a popout and a strikeout on Yoenis Cespedes mixed in. Mariners are now out-hitting the A’s 4-2.
12:50 p.m.: Rookie mistake by Brandon Maurer in the first inning on a 1-2 pitch to Josh Reddick. Maurer grooved a four-seam fastball right down the middle and Reddick destroyed it, putting the ball deep beyond the wall in right-center for a two-run homer that makes it 2-0 for the A’s. Poor location for a 1-2 offering. Shades of Hector Noesi. Coco Crisp led the game off with a line drive single to right.
12:20 p.m.: This would be a great way for the Mariners to kickstart their 2013 season: taking three of four from the defending AL West champion Oakland Athletics. But they’ll need a strong start out of Brandon Maurer to help get them there.
Maurer is the first Mariners pitcher to open the season in the rotation out of Class AA ball or lower since Mike Hampton and John Cummings did it out of Class A back in 1993. Brandon Morrow made his debut in the bullpen back in 2007 without having pitched higher than upper-level Class A, while Tom Wilhelmsen also made a relief debut in 2011 after pitching no higher that the Class A Midwest League.