Yahoo! Sports: AL’s scariest playoff team
SEATTLE (AP)—The Oakland Athletics have had their champagne on ice so long, they might wind up celebrating with bubbled popsicles.
At this point, they’d take anything.
Ichiro Suzuki had five hits and scored the winning run, and the Seattle Mariners snapped a 15-game losing streak against Oakland with a 10-9 victory in 10 innings Monday night that kept the Athletics’ magic number at two for clinching the AL West title.
That’s the same number it’s been since Saturday.
“I’m sure they know that,” A’s manager Ken Macha said tersely. “I don’t have to have meetings with them to tell them. We’ve just got to go out and play.”
Oakland closer Huston Street blew his 10th save of the season by allowing three runs in the ninth. Kiko Calero then gave up a game-winning single to Willie Bloomquist in the 10th, capping Seattle’s comeback from a 9-3 deficit.
On the cusp of their first division title since 2003, the A’s have lost three straight. Their magic number remained at two because the Los Angeles Angels beat Texas 8-3. Oakland leads the second-place Angels by five games with six to play.
Macha was particularly upset with his team stranding four runners at third base and right fielder Milton Bradley misplaying Suzuki’s hit into a triple in the seventh inning.
“It’s still in our hands,” Street said in a silent, mostly empty clubhouse. “And I’ve got to pitch again. I’ve got to just move past it.”
The Mariners finished with a season-high 21 hits and beat Oakland for the first time since their initial meeting this season on April 6. Seattle’s 15-game losing streak against its division rival tied the major league record since divisional play began in 1969.
“It’s been no secret we’ve been abused by them,” Seattle’s Raul Ibanez said after he had four hits and four RBIs, including his 31st home run. “That was an intense game.”
Suzuki’s fifth hit opened the 10th. He advanced to second when a pickoff attempt by Calero (3-2) ricocheted off Suzuki’s left shoulder blade and into an out-of-play camera well.
Adrian Beltre lined out to center and pinch-hitter Rene Rivera struck out. Calero then intentionally walked Ibanez to get to Bloomquist, who had entered as a pinch-runner for Richie Sexson in the frantic ninth.
“It would be sweet to not let them clinch in our house,” Bloomquist said about a three-game series that continues Tuesday, with A’s right-hander Rich Harden’s second start since coming off the disabled list.
J.J. Putz (4-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win, which manager Mike Hargrove called one of Seattle’s biggest victories this season.
Greg Dobbs’ RBI single tied it at 9.
“I was going out there with two days’ rest, pretty much a perfect situation to pitch,” Street said after tying his career high of five hits allowed set on April 16. “I just made some bad pitches, bottom line.”
When asked which pitch particularly galled him, Street said: “All of them.”
Ibanez’s run-scoring single in the ninth gave him 121 RBIs. Ibanez and Sexson had four hits apiece. Sexson hit his 33rd homer, off starter Esteban Loaiza in the second.
Jimenez allowed eight hits and five runs in four innings in his first major league start.
In the fifth, Chick loaded the bases with walks to Jay Payton and Swisher sandwiched around Eric Chavez’s single. Ellis doubled home two runs, and Kendall walked on a 3-2 pitch to make it 8-3. Pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay added an RBI single to cap the four-run rally.
Loaiza allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked none.
Ibanez extended a career high with his 31st home run in the fifth, a two-run shot. His RBI single tied the game at 3 in the third.
Oakland starters are 8-7 with a 6.24 ERA in their last 20 games. … Suzuki has a major league-leading 217 hits. He also owns the top three hit totals in Mariners history, behind his 262 in 2004 and 242 in ’01. His 48th career triple tied Harold Reynolds for most in Seattle history. … Since making his major league debut with three shutout innings on Sept. 13, Chick has walked nine and allowed seven earned runs in two innings. He was acquired from Cincinnati in the trade of former Seattle closer Eddie Guardado on July 6.