Eveland, Athletics blank MarinersSep 20, 2008 - 5:27 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Oakland Athletics cannot finish any better than .500, but they still would like to finish second in the American League West.
Travis Buck homered and Dana Eveland outdueled Felix Hernandez as the Athletics defeated the lowly Seattle Mariners, 2-0, on Friday.
The win, coupled with Texas' loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, put Oakland 2 1/2 games behind the Rangers for second place in the AL West.
"If you can't finish first, you might as well still put up a fight," Eveland said. "We're going to try and win, regardless. It doesn't matter if we're in last place or in first place, we're going to try and win ballgames. I don't know about everybody, but that's my goal for the season - to get ahead of Texas."
Eveland worked seven innings, scattering seven hits while striking out seven en route to his first win since August 23. Joey Devine pitched a perfect eighth and rookie Brad Ziegler tossed the ninth for his 10th save.
"I felt real confident coming into today pitching against a team I've beaten three times already," Eveland said of his 4-0 record against Seattle. "In my opinion, they have two tough outs in their lineup, and fortunately for me, they're both lefthanded hitters, so I don't have any issues facing a tough lefty. I feel pretty good against lefties always."
With two on and two outs in the ninth, Ichiro Suzuki reached on a fielding error by first baseman Jeff Baisley to load the bases. But Ziegler induced a groundout to second by Yuniesky Betancourt, ending the game.
Buck led off the fourth inning with a home run over the right field wall to make it 1-0. Ryan Sweeney followed with a one-out double to right-center and scored on a single by Kurt Suzuki.
"The biggest one was my first game back," said Buck, who was recalled from Class AAA Sacramento on Tuesday after spending much of the season on the disabled list with a concussion. "Putting a couple of hits and playing some solid baseball and I'll know when I'm back to my normal self, everything's going to be fine. I'm just hoping to continue it the rest of the year and take it day by day."
Hernandez (9-11) was the tough-luck loser, allowing two runs and six hits in eight innings en route to his third straight loss.
"I can do nothing about it, my goal was to stay healthy, that's all," Hernandez said. "I know I pitched better, I had control of all my pitches. I pitch the same way every year. I pitch with my heart, that's all I'm going to say."
"He's put two (quality outings) in a row like that, against the Angels and now against Oakland," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's doing fine, really pitching good, and it's nice to see. But we've got to get some runs across for him."
Jack Cust set the American League record for strikeouts in a season with 187, fanning twice to surpass the mark set in 1987 by Rob Deer.
The Mariners have lost a season-high nine consecutive games, being outscored, 49-17, over that span.
"I don't have any numbers to prove it, but I would say we might have as many hits since the All-Star break as anybody in the game as a team," Riggleman said. "But we've scored every bit as few runs as we have all year, so I don't know what the answer to that is."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
SEATTLE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1
OAKLAND 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 x 2 6 2 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ AND KENJI JOHJIMA
OAK - DANA EVELAND, JOEY DEVINE (8TH), BRAD ZIEGLER
(9TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
HOME RUNS: SEA - NONE
OAK - TRAVIS BUCK (4) OFF F
Sep 20 12:13 AM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY KURT SUZUKI SCORED RYAN SWEENEY.
SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K SUZUKI ON SECOND, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CROSBY (.241, 0-FOR-1)
Mariners 0, Athletics 2 Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 19 11:06 PM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY TRAVIS BUCK (4) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
4TH OFF FELIX HERNANDEZ.
CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0, OAKLAND 1
DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: A CUNNINGHAM (.300, 0-FOR-1)
Mariners 0, Athletics 1 Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 19 10:58 PM
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