OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Brendan Ryan ended one of the longest hitting slumps of his career with a timely two-run double.
The Mariners shortstop felt even better after adding an RBI single two innings later.
Making a rare start after interim manager Robby Thompson shuffled his lineup due to an injury to second baseman Nick Franklin, Ryan had two hits and drove in three runs to snap a 9-for-77 stretch, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 5-3 on Wednesday.
“The frustration mounts … when the at-bats are limited because you have so much time to sit and think about it,” said Ryan, who went into the game hitting .190. “This is the role I’ve carved out for myself. All I can try to do is the best I can in the opportunities I’m getting.”
Ryan struck out in his first two at-bats before doubling off Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (10-9) with two outs in the sixth.
He hit a two-out, 0-2 pitch sharply down the third base line that glanced off the glove of Oakland’s Josh Donaldson and ricocheted into the A’s bullpen.
Kendrys Morales scored and Dustin Ackley barely beat the relay throw home despite colliding with A’s catcher Stephen Vogt to put the Mariners up 4-3. Vogt slammed the back of his head on the ground during the play and remained down briefly before staying in the game.
“I thought at the time I got him,” Vogt said. “It was an unfortunate play in our direction.”
Michael Morse and Brad Miller homered for Seattle, which overcame an uneven start by Hisashi Iwakuma to beat the A’s for the fourth time in the past five games between the division rivals.
Iwakuma (12-6) gave up a pair of home runs and pitched with runners in scoring position most of the afternoon, but limited the damage to win his second straight. The Mariners right-hander struck out four and walked two in seven innings.
“As I got deeper into my game I was able to command my pitches lower in the zone,” Iwakuma said. “Even with runners on second and third, I was able to keep the ball down and pitch effectively. That’s part of my game and I’m able to execute with runners on.”
Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss hit home runs for Oakland, which fell to 15-16 since the All-Star break.
The A’s stranded three runners at third, one at second and had another runner get thrown out at the plate. They also wasted a 3-1 lead one day after blowing a four-run lead in a 7-4 loss to the Mariners.
That was enough to anger Oakland manager Bob Melvin.
“Everything that we did today is what’s wrong with us,” Melvin said. “We didn’t add on early, we didn’t make big pitches when we had to, we didn’t come through in situational at-bats. Ugly, ugly game for us and it’s been going on for a while. It comes to a point where you just have to step up.”
Iwakuma wasn’t nearly as crisp as he was in his previous start against Texas, but did make it hold up. He got Alberto Callaspo to fly out with a runner at third to end the sixth, then retired two straight to end the seventh after Oakland got runners on first and third.
Charlie Furbush and Yoervis Medina worked the eighth while Dannny Farquhar struck out the side in the ninth for his ninth save.
Crisp homered leading off the bottom of the first and Moss hit his 20th of the season in the fourth. Callaspo added a sacrifice fly to give the A’s a 3-1 lead.
Seattle, which overcame a 4-0 deficit to beat Oakland 7-4 on Tuesday, came back again.
Morse hit a towering home run off Griffin in the second and Miller added a leadoff shot in the fifth.
After the Mariners scored twice in the sixth to take the lead, Ryan’s RBI single off Dan Otero in the eighth made it 5-3.
Griffin struck out seven, but continued to have issues with his control. He walked four, giving him 15 over his past three starts.
Notes: A’s C Derek Norris was held out of the lineup after breaking a toe in his left foot during a play at the plate in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 7-4 loss. The runner, Franklin, suffered a gash that required stitches in his leg. … Mariners slugger Raul Ibanez was given the day off. … Oakland OF Seth Smith sat out a second straight game with an astigmatism in his eye.
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