Athletics 2, Mariners 1

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SEATTLE (AP)—Mark Redman sure likes wearing those gray pants.

Redman continued his run of success on the road, pitching 6 2-3 steady innings, while Eric Chavez and Erubiel Durazo each drove in runs to lead the Oakland Athletics over the Seattle Mariners 2-1 Sunday.

Redman (11-12) had lost his two previous starts—both in Oakland, where he’s 3-6 with a 7.81 ERA in 14 starts. He improved his road record to 8-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 starts.

“If you look at the numbers, it’s a joke,” Redman said. “I guess I just have confidence the way I’m pitching on the road. Today, I just had a good game plan and I used all my pitches on both sides of the plate.”

Redman outpitched Bobby Madritsch (5-3) in a showdown of left-handers, helping Oakland win two of three in Seattle to move three games ahead of Anaheim in the AL West.

“These last few weeks, guys are coming out a little more focused and ready to play,” said Jermaine Dye, who had two doubles and a single. “We’re out there every inning, just trying to scratch out runs to give our pitchers a chance to win.”

Redman allowed one run and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked four—one intentionally—and struck out three.

“I’m happy with any win right now. We just need to bear down any way we can,” Redman said.

Ricardo Rincon and Jim Mecir each retired two batters in relief, and Octavio Dotel pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.

“It’s occasionally nice to have a game where you can relax, but the intensity in our dugout has been terrific,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “We talked before the game about pitching, defense and getting timely hits.”

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki was hitless in four at-bats and walked, holding his season hits total at 236. With 13 games remaining, he needs 22 hits to break the major league season record set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns in 1920.

The A’s went ahead 2-1 in the fifth. Eric Byrnes hit a two-out double to left on the first pitch he saw from Madritsch and scored when Chavez hit a first-pitch RBI single to center.

Oakland made it 1-1 in the fourth on consecutive doubles by Dye and Durazo. Dye started it with one out, driving a pitch to the left-field corner and Durazo’s hit went to the corner in right.

Madritsch, who pitched at least eight innings in winning his previous two starts, worked seven this time, giving up two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.

Madritsch, who threw 119 pitches, looked tired after walking Scott Hatteberg to load the bases with two outs in the seventh. But after a conference with pitching coach Bryan Price, Madritsch got Dye on a called third strike.

“Today, I was sporadic,” Madritsch said. “My location was up all day. I really had to battle through it.”

Redman got two quick outs to start the seventh, but was replaced by Rincon after giving up first-pitch singles by Randy Winn and Jolbert Cabrera. Rincon struck out Bret Boone to end the threat.

Seattle led 1-0 in the third after Winn’s RBI single. Jose Lopez hit a two-out double and took third on a groundout by Willie Bloomquist before Suzuki was intentionally walked.

Redman seemed in trouble after walking Cabrera on four pitches to load the bases—12 pitches and an RBI single off the only strike—but the A’s escaped when Boone grounded into a force.

“It looks good every day we win,” Redman said. “We’re the team in first place. We just need to keep coming out ready to play every day.”

Seattle manager Bob Melvin was frustrated after the team’s 42nd home loss, noting the Mariners rank last in the AL with 622 runs and 584 RBIs.

“It’s embarrassing,” Melvin said. “We’re last in both categories by a pretty good margin and the reason is we’re not getting hits when we need to get them. We had plenty of opportunities to win that game.”

Notes

Winn had three singles. … Seattle LF Raul Ibanez was 0-for-3, ending a 10-game hitting streak. … Oakland CF Mark Kotsay made a sliding catch to take a hit from Suzuki in the first. … Fans booed when Suzuki was intentionally walked in the third. … Each team left the bases loaded twice.

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