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Piazza, Ellis key surge as A's edge Mariners

Sep 12, 2007 - 6:40 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SEATTLE (Ticker) - Mike Piazza had three hits, including a tie-breaking two-run single, and Mark Ellis contributed four hits as the Oakland Athletics defeated the slumping Seattle Mariners, 7-4, on Tuesday night.

It was the A's second consecutive victory over the Mariners, who have lost 15 of their last 17 games and have fallen 6 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees (82-62) in the American League wild card race.

"I don't know what I can say that we haven't said," said Seattle manager John McLaren, who was ejected in the fourth. "We need somebody to step to the plate, throw some zeroes on the board. We are getting frustrated, let's be honest about it. We're fighting through it but it's extremely difficult."

The Athletics broke a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning when they scored three times to take the lead for good.

After Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn (9-14) retired the first two batters, Shannon Stewart singled to right and chased the lefthander. Reliever Eric O'Flaherty entered and walked Nick Swisher to load the bases for Piazza, who hit a two-run single to center off Sean Green.

Ellis capped the three-run frame with an RBI single to left. It was his fourth hit of the evening, tying a career-high.

"I haven't done anything different, I'm just seeing the ball better," said Ellis, who is 14-for-22 over his last six games. "I'm not swinging at as many bad pitches, and that probably helps a little bit."

A's reliever Ruddy Lugo (6-0) picked up the win and two others bridged the gap to closer Huston Street, who shut the door in the ninth for his 14 save.

"It's definitely a very difficult and very trying time for us," Mariners designated hitter Raul Ibanez said. "It's beyond words right now."

Rookie Dallas Braden gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings for Oakland, which saw manager John McLaren ejected in the fourth after arguing balls and strikes.

Donnie Murphy and rookie Kurt Suzuki each drew bases-loaded walks from Washburn to force two runs across and Stewart hit a two-run single to help Oakland grab a 4-1 edge in the fourth.

The Mariners rallied to tie the score at 4-4 in the fifth with three runs off Braden, who also surrendered a solo blast to Adrian Beltre two frames earlier.

"Our starter (Braden) had a decent four innings and had a little trouble in the fifth," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "But the bullpen came in and held on there and let the offense score a few more runs."

With two outs in the seventh, Seattle loaded the bases against reliever Andrew Brown, but the righthander fanned Yuniesky Betancourt on three pitches to get out of the inning.

Washburn, who fell to 1-8 in 11 starts since his last victory on July 4, was hammered for six runs and eight hits through 5 2/3 frames.

Perhaps the only negative for the A's was the end of Ellis' 102-game errorless streak, the longest by a second baseman in franchise history. Ellis bobbled a chopper over second by Adam Jones for the miscue.

"I caught it, but I just couldn't get it out of my glove," Ellis said. "It's one of those plays where you either make it or you don't and I didn't make it (Tuesday)."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 4 0 3 0 0 0 7 10 2
    SEATTLE 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 4 11 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - DALLAS BRADEN, RUDDY LUGO (5TH), ANDREW BROWN (6TH), ALAN
    EMBREE (8TH), HUSTON STREET (9TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
    SEA - JARROD WASHBURN, ERIC O'FLAHERTY (6TH), SEAN

    Sep 12 1:22 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK ELLIS SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M ELLIS ON SECOND, M PIAZZA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7
    SEATTLE 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SCUTARO (.265, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 12 12:18 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE PIAZZA SCORED SHANNON STEWART AND DARIC
    BARTON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M PIAZZA ON FIRST, N SWISHER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 6
    SEATTLE 4 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.276, 3-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 12 12:16 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JOSE VIDRO SCORED JOSE GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J VIDRO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4
    SEATTLE 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: A JONES (.256, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 11 11:54 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KENJI JOHJIMA SCORED RAUL IBANEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K JOHJIMA ON FIRST, J GUILLEN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4
    SEATTLE 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J VIDRO (.316, 2-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 11 11:51 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAUL IBANEZ SCORED ICHIRO SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R IBANEZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4
    SEATTLE 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J GUILLEN (.288, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 11 11:46 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SHANNON STEWART SCORED MARCO SCUTARO AND DONNIE
    MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, S STEWART ON FIRST, K SUZUKI ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4
    SEATTLE 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D BARTON (.400, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 11 11:18 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO KURT SUZUKI SCORED MARK ELLIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K SUZUKI ON FIRST, D MURPHY ON SECOND, M
    SCUTARO ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    SEATTLE 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K THOMPSON (.185, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 11 11:14 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO DONNIE MURPHY SCORED MIKE PIAZZA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D MURPHY ON FIRST, M SCUTARO ON SECOND, M
    ELLIS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    SEATTLE 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K SUZUKI (.247, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 11 11:10 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ADRIAN BELTRE (24) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF DALLAS BRADEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0, SEATTLE 1
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R IBANEZ (.284, 1-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. MarinersSep 11 10:56 PM