SEATTLE (AP)—Raul Ibanez is providing the Mariners with some much needed power.
Ibanez homered to tie the game in the seventh and then again in the ninth to give Seattle a 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
“It was a tight game and it feels good to pull it out against a good team,” said Ibanez, who signed as a free agent in November to return to the Mariners after spending three seasons in Kansas City.
Oakland might have lost more than just the game. Rookie Bobby Crosby, Miguel Tejada’s replacement at shortstop, injured his left knee in a collision with left fielder Bobby Kielty in the second inning. Crosby left the game in the fourth with what was described as a left knee contusion.
Head trainer Larry Davis said Crosby will be flown to Oakland on Wednesday morning for an MRI to determine the seriousness of the injury.
“He has a left knee injury,” Davis said. “With knees, you like to get some interior pictures before you make a guess.”
Ibanez hit a 2-2 pitch off Jim Mercir (0-1) to right to end the game. It was his first career multihomer game and he homered in his third straight game, giving him four for the season.
The Mariners have won four straight, including consecutive 2-1 wins over the A’s, to improve to 6-8 on the season.
“Hopefully, we can keep it going,” Ibanez said. “This is what everybody on this team expects from us and all the fans expect from us. We expect to win ballgames.”
Ibanez, who hit 18 homers last season after hitting 24 in 2002, said he hit a fastball for his second homer. His homer bounced off the second-deck facade.
“I think they were both up maybe,” he said.
Despite his homers, Ibanez said he didn’t consider himself a power hitter.
“I’m not a power guy,” he said. “I’m just trying to hit line drives and base hits.”
After 14 games, the Mariners have 10 home runs, the least in the American League. In 2003, the Mariners ranked 13th among the 14 AL teams with 139 homers. Only Tampa Bay had less with 137.
Ron Villone (1-0) pitched the eighth and ninth for Seattle, allowing just one walk.
Ibanez tied the score at 1 leading off the seventh, a shot to right off Rich Harden.
Oakland loaded the bases in the first and third innings, but Franklin wiggled out of the jams.
Mark Kotsay singled before Eric Chavez and Scott Hatteberg walked, but Erubiel Durazo flew out to end the first. In the third, Franklin walked Kielty, Chavez and Durazo before Crosby flew out to end the threat.
Harden and Franklin each went seven strong innings.
Harden allowed one run on three hits and four walks, with nine strikeouts.
Franklin gave up one run on three hits and a career-high five walks, with four strikeouts. He retired the final 11 A’s he faced.
Franklin said the Mariners were “shocked” when they started off 2-8.
“I think the whole team was like, ‘There’s no way this could happen to us,”’ Franklin said. “We’re not used to losing around here and nobody likes it.”
Oakland’s Jermaine Dye had his 13-game hitting streak end with an 0-for-4 game.
A’s manager Ken Macha didn’t want to speculate about Crosby’s knee. But he talked about the outcome of the game.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “It was an excellent pitching performanceand good defense for both teams.”
: Crosby’s left knee struck a diving Kielty in the side after he caught Scott Spiezio’s pop fly in the second. Both players were down on the ground for about three minutes, but stayed in the game. Kielty wasn’t hurt. He said he had the wind knocked out of him on the play. “I saw him right at the last second,” Kielty said. “I was going to dive head first, but I wasn’t able to get down fast enough.” On March 25, Crosby collided with 2B Mark Ellis in a spring training game, causing Ellis to suffer a torn labrum in his right shoulder that will cause him to miss the entire season. Ellis is awaiting surgery. … Mariners C Ben Davis singled in the third for his first hit of the season and his first since March 14 in spring training. Davis was 0-for-11 thisseason before his hit after being 2-for-35 this spring.