OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — After more than two weeks of close games decided by three runs or fewer, the Seattle Mariners finally had a relaxing ninth inning.
Seattle also inched closer to division-leading Texas — a small but significant step for manager Scott Servais’ ballclub.
Kyle Seager doubled twice and drove in four runs and the Mariners won for the eighth time in nine games, beating the Oakland Athletics 8-4 on Sunday.
“It’s nice to build a little bit of a lead there and really let our pitchers settle in and not throw quite as many stressful pitches,” Seager said. “We’ve been putting pretty good at-bats, top to bottom. I like the way our offense is swinging the bat.”
Adam Lind homered, Nori Aoki had three singles and Shawn O’Malley added two hits and scored twice for Seattle.
The Mariners moved within 5 1/2 games of AL West-leading Texas, matching the closest they’ve been to the division leaders since early June.
“A lot of guys chipped in, contributed,” Servais said. “We needed it. To go out and win the series, you need to score a few runs in the last game, and we got it done today.”
Wade LeBlanc (2-0) gave up three runs over six innings to earn his second win since being acquired from Toronto in June. The lefty struck out seven and walked one.
Khris Davis hit his third home run in three days. He became the first A’s player with at least 30 homers since Brandon Moss hit 30 in 2013.
“I’m just trying to do me and help the club out and have fun with the boys,” Davis said.
Ryon Healy and Brett Eibner also homered for the A’s.
Zach Neal (2-2) allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Every Seattle player except designated hitter Dae-Ho Lee had at least one hit. Lee, a late lineup addition, was hit by a pitch in the fourth.
Lind homered in the second. Seager hit an RBI double in the third and a three-run double in the sixth.
The Mariners also scored in the fourth after an inning-ending double play was overturned by replay. O’Malley singled in Lee following the reversal.
Lind is significantly bigger than O’Malley but it hardly mattered when the Mariners first baseman and shortstop collided chasing a pop-up near the mound in the third inning. Lind crashed to the ground while O’Malley, who made the catch, barely moved. Second baseman Robinson Cano helped Lind to his feet then playfully held up two fingers to see if Lind was coherent.
“Shawn always talks about he was a really good football player, that he might have been a better football player than baseball player in high school,” Seager said. “I’m kind of starting to believe him. But he kind of hit a helpless receiver there.”
Mariners: Lee was in the lineup after Seth Smith was a late scratch due to a right foot contusion. … James Paxton emerged from his bullpen session feeling fine and is slated to start Tuesday in Anaheim. Paxton was hit in his left elbow by a line drive in his previous outing Aug. 7.
Athletics: Right-hander Jesse Hahn (right shoulder strain) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (6-4) pitches Monday in Anaheim and will be going for his 16th career win against the Angels.
Athletics: LHP Ross Detwiler (1-0) makes his second start for Oakland when the A’s open a three-game series in Texas on Monday. Detwiler pitched eight scoreless innings against Baltimore in his debut on Aug. 10.
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