Athletics put muzzle on MarinersAug 22, 2008 - 6:15 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Emil Brown hit a solo home run and Greg Smith pitched six scoreless innings as the Oakland Athletics stifled the Seattle Mariners, 2-0, on Thursday.
Brad Ziegler escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his fourth save.
Smith (6-12), who has received two or fewer runs support in 18 of his 25 starts, snapped a personal six-game losing streak. The lefthander yielded four hits and three walks while striking out one en route to recording his first win since June 30 and extending his scoreless innings streak against the Mariners to 12.
"I'm real happy with Greg Smith because his strike percentage was something that we recently talked to him about improving," A's manager Bob Geren said. "I wanted to see all of his pitches be more effective in the strike zone, and he really did a nice job."
Jose Lopez, mired in a 2-for-34 slump, led off the ninth with an infield single. After Bryan LaHair struck out, fellow pinch hitter Tug Hulett doubled into the right field corner, sending Lopez to third.
Ziegler walked Jeff Clement, but Yuniesky Betancourt grounded to third for a 5-3, game-ending double play.
"I'm not going to say I wasn't thinking about Ichiro (Suzuki) on deck, but I knew that Betancourt was a better matchup for me, for sure," Ziegler said.
The A's, who are a major league-worst 7-25 since the All-Star break, won for the second time in six games despite extending their streak of three or fewer runs scored to six contests.
The game was scoreless until Brown belted his 12th home run into the left field seats with two outs in the sixth. Oakland added an insurance run in the ninth.
"Obviously, Emil's home run was the big one for us," Geren said. "But that extra run in the ninth was huge, just to keep us on top. Their guy (Ryan Rowland-Smith) threw a great game tonight and made it tough for us at points."
With one out, Sean Green walked Eric Patterson, who was picked off but wound up advancing to third base on an errant throw by first baseman Jeremy Reed. Carlos Gonzalez followed with an RBI single.
Rowland-Smith (2-2) allowed four hits and one run in a career-high seven innings. He departed after throwing 114 pitches, striking out six and walking three.
"He did a good job," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "Its good to see him go deep in the ballgame and be strong at the end. He was still throwing good and gave us every chance to win the game."
"(I'm) happy about (my start)," Rowland-Smith said. "But (it's) sort of bittersweet, tough to walk away with a loss, but on a personal note, I'm happy about how I did."
Smith worked his way out of a jam in the sixth. After Ichiro led off with a double, Miguel Cairo popped up a bunt attempt for the first out. Raul Ibanez flied to deep center and Smith walked Adrian Beltre intentionally before Lopez grounded out to end the inning.
"I got a good one tonight," Smith said about. "I was throwing strikes and that kind of puts them on the defensive. I was mentally attacking the zone. That was the approach."
Smith, who leads the majors in pickoffs, notched his 14th the fourth when he caught Wladimir Balentien leaning at first base to end the frame. Smith's pickoff total is the most in the league since Andy Pettitte had 14 for the New York Yankees in 1997.
Oakland's Frank Thomas was ejected in the sixth by plate umpire Bill Hohn for arguing a called strike. On his way back to the dugout, an infuriated Thomas tossed his batting helmet and bat high in the air in the direction of home.
Ichiro collected three of the seven hits by the Mariners, who have lost seven in a row and 11 of 12.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 5 0
SEATTLE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: OAK - GREG SMITH, JOEY DEVINE (7TH), BRAD ZIEGLER (8TH) AND KURT
SEA - RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH, SEAN GREEN (8TH), CESAR
JIMENEZ (9TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA
Aug 22 12:53 AM
AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY CARLOS GONZALEZ SCORED ERIC PATTERSON.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GONZALEZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
SEATTLE 0 TOP, 9TH
DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D BARTON (.203, 0-FOR-3)
Athletics 2, Mariners 0 Top 9, 0 OutsAug 22 12:38 AM
AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY EMIL BROWN (12) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
6TH OFF RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH.
CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, SEATTLE 0
DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: F THOMAS (.231, 0-FOR-2)
Athletics 1, Mariners 0 Top 6, 0 OutsAug 21 11:32 PM
- Athletics-Mariners Preview May 23
- LEADING OFF: Kershaw tests streak vs Reds, Colon faces Nats May 23
- Ejections aplenty for Blue Jays lately May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Bad day gets worse for Athletics in 5-4 loss to Yankees May 22
- Pineda ends slump; Yanks top Oakland 5-4 to win 5th straight May 22
- Martin, Cano help Mariners sweep, hand Reds 7th loss in row May 22
- Gray put on DL by A's because of strained muscle May 22
- Mariners place Marte on 15-day DL, recall Taylor May 22
- Mariners-Reds Preview May 21
- Yankees-Athletics Preview May 21
- Manaea loses focus in A's 5-1 loss to Yankees May 21