SEATTLE (AP) — Sonny Gray threw five shutout innings in his final start before the playoffs, Oakland had a pair of four-run innings and the Athletics closed out the regular season with a 9-0 win over Seattle in Eric Wedge’s final game as Mariners manager.
The A’s now turn their attention to the AL Division Series against Detroit that will begin Friday in Oakland, while Seattle enters the offseason with another managerial search on the docket.
Oakland gave a few of its starters the finale off, while some others made cameos before getting a rest before beginning the postseason. Jed Lowrie, Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes all sat Sunday, while Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Chris Young were lifted early.
It didn’t matter who was hitting against the Mariners. The A’s scored four times in the second inning, all charged to Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez, and four more times in the fifth.
Young got Oakland started with a two-run single in the second, followed by RBI doubles by Seth Smith and Moss. Alberto Callaspo had an RBI single in the fifth, followed by an RBI double from Josh Reddick and a two-run single by Daric Barton.
Gray (5-3) gave up a pair of singles in the first inning and walked a pair of batters in the third, but otherwise got through his final regular-season outing without any trouble before making his playoff debut. Gray struck out eight and gave up three hits. It was the 16th time in the final 19 games of the regular season that Oakland’s starter allowed two earned runs of less.
Oakland finished with 96 wins, the most since reaching that total in 2003.
Seattle finished 71-91 and went a 12th straight season without the making the playoffs. More importantly, they’ll now be seeking another manager with Wedge’s decision to walk away from the Mariners messy situation. Wedge announced on Friday he would not return to the club in 2014, citing a difference of opinion between him and the Mariners’ front office: CEO Howard Lincoln, President Chuck Armstrong and general manager Jack Zduriencik.
With Ramirez (5-3) and the Mariners’ bullpen struggling, most of the attention for Seattle turned to Raul Ibanez and his attempt to become the first player age 40 or older to hit 30 homers in a season. Ibanez had been stuck on 29 since homering on Sept. 21, tied with Ted Williams. He grounded out to end the first inning and struck out with the bases loaded in the third — the only time Seattle threatened against Gray.
Ibanez struck out looking in the sixth inning off reliever Jesse Chavez and popped out to left in the eighth. Ibanez was replaced after going out to the field for the top of the ninth and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
NOTES: Cespedes didn’t play the final two games of the regular season to give his right shoulder extra rest. Oakland believes he’ll be ready for the ALDS. … Wedge said he and his family intend on staying in the Seattlearea for now, but that he would like to manage again. … Jemile Weeks got his first hit of the season with a single in the fifth inning. … Seattle drew 17,081 for the finale. The Mariners had one sellout in 81 home games.
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