Homers from Moss, Fuld lead A's past Seattle 4-0
SEATTLE (AP) -- Sam Fuld and Brandon Moss hit solo home runs, Jon Lester combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Oakland won consecutive games for the first time in three weeks and more importantly stretched its lead in the AL wild card race. The A's now hold a 1 1/2 game advantage over Kansas City and a 2 1/2 game lead over the Mariners. Seattle went 2-4 on its next-to-last homestand of the season and play 11 of its final 14 on the road.
Fuld barely cleared the right-field wall in the first inning off Seattle starter Chris Young. It was Oakland's only hit until sixth inning. Moss hit his 24th homer leading off the seventh, his first home run since July 24. Fuld and Adam Dunn both added an RBI singles in the eighth inning as Oakland stretched its lead.
Lester (15-10) struggled to get through six innings yet kept the Mariners scoreless. Seattle had base runners in every inning except the sixth and could never get a hit with a runner in scoring position. Seattle was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position against Lester. Austin Jackson was at third base with one out in the first and was stranded. Chris Denorfia was also left at third in the third inning.
Dan Otero took over in the seventh and immediately gave up singles to pinch hitters Endy Chavez and Logan Morrison, and a wild pitch advanced the pair to second and third with no outs. Jackson grounded out to first and pinch-hitter Michael Saunders struck out on three pitches. Otero intentionally walked Robinson Cano to load the bases and got Kendrys Morales to pop out to left to end the threat.
Seattle finished 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.
Lester threw 101 pitches and walked four, but allowed just four hits and struck out seven in picking up his fifth victory since joining the A's.
Young (12-8) pitched six innings for the first time since Aug. 17, but allowed two homers in a start at Safeco Field for the first time this season.
Athletics: C Geovany Soto left Friday's game with back spasms but is expected to be ready for Tuesday's series opener with Texas.
Mariners: OF Dustin Ackley was already going to get Sunday off and not face Lester, but it also helped in managing his sore left foot. Ackley didn't play on Saturday and manager Lloyd McClendon hopes the two days off will lead to the soreness disappearing.
Athletics: After their final day off of the regular season, the A's will start Scott Kazmir (14-8) in the opener against Texas on Tuesday night. Oakland shuffled its rotation and will have Kazmir, followed by Jeff Samardzija and Sonny Gray.
Mariners: Seattle begins a brutal 11-game road trip on Monday night against the Angels with Hiashi Iwakuma (14-7) pitching the opener of the four-game series. After four with the Angels, the Mariners go to Houston for three games and close the trip with four in Toronto.