for this game

Pineda helps Mariners edge A's

Jul 5, 2011 - 12:50 AM Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Rookie Michael Pineda struck out seven batters in six innings, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Oakland Athletics, 2-1, in the opener of a three-game series.

Josh Bard homered in the sixth inning to tie the game, and Justin Smoak hit an RBI double in the seventh for Seattle's 2-1 lead.

The hits made a winner out of Pineda (8-5), the 22-year-old righthander who started the season 6-2 before going just 1-3 in his past seven starts.

Monday's July 4th victory marked just the second time in more than five weeks that the Mariners won a game started by Pineda.

"He was really good," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. "They made him work, but he looked like a very mature pitcher out there. He's looked like that all year."

Aaron Laffey, David Pauley and Brandon League pitched out of the bullpen, with League working around a one-out walk in the ninth inning to secure his 23rd save.

Kurt Suzuki hit an RBI single for the Athletics, who fell to 4-8 in their last 12 games. Brandon McCarthy (1-5) pitched for the first time since May 18 and took the loss after giving up both runs in 6 2/3 innings.

McCarthy, who was activated off the disabled list Sunday after getting over a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, retired the first nine batters of the game until Ichiro Suzuki singled to lead off the fourth.

"I thought he was terrific," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "It was good enough to win, they just got one more hit than we did when it mattered."

The Mariners had a chance to build a bigger cushion in the ninth after Adam Kennedy walked and Smoak singled to put runners at first and third with nobody out. Brian Fuentes settled down to get two outs before Fautino De Los Santos retired Greg Halman on a fly ball to end the inning.

Coco Crisp walked in the bottom of the ninth for Oakland, but League struck out Hideki Matsui and Chris Carter on eight total pitches to strand the tying run on base.

Matsui had the first hit of the game, a leadoff single in the second inning, and later scored on Kurt Suzuki's hit to left field to make it 1-0 Oakland.

Not only did McCarthy retire the first nine batters for Oakland, he faced the minimum through the first 5 2/3 innings before Bard belted his first homer of the season to right field, tying the game at 1-1.

McCarthy was pulled after giving up the go-ahead run in the seventh. Brendan Ryan led off with a single, then scored on Smoak's double to right to make it 2-1.

Game Notes

The Mariners have won three of their last four games...The A's had just three hits and were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position...Seattle won despite going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.