SEATTLE (AP)—Ben Broussard, a former everyday position player now relegated mostly to pinch-hitting situations, was in the training room stretching out for a possible at-bat.
Suddenly, he was sprinting up the tunnel and scrambling to find his hat and glove after Richie Sexson’s quick ejection. It might have been the best scenario for the Mariners on Sunday.
Just an inning after Sexson’s ejection, Broussard hit a two-out, two-run homer to tie the game in the seventh, and Seattle scored four more times in the eighth for a wild 14-10 win over the Oakland Athletics.
“It was great. I got into a close ball game and got up with a chance to make a difference,” Broussard said.
The Mariners led 6-0 early, only to watch the entire advantage disappear as both starter Jarrod Washburn and reliever Chris Reitsma struggled. But Seattle put together an improbable rally and enters Monday night’s three-game series against the division-leading Angels on a roll.
Asked how debilitating a loss Sunday might have been, Ichiro Suzuki said, “I don’t know, but who cares. We won.”
Beltre kept the seventh inning alive with a two-out single to score Suzuki, who was standing on third with no outs after a bunt single over the head of Oakland pitcher Santiago Casilla and stealing second and third.
Broussard stepped up and worked the count to 2-2, then hit his sixth homer of the season to right field, nearly hitting the facing of the second deck, tying the score at 10-all.
“I just ran off the table and was in the game,” Broussard said. “It just worked out.”
In the eighth, Johjima led off with a double just fair down the left field line off Oakland reliever Huston Street (2-2). Ellison ran for the catcher and Jose Lopez laid down a bunt to advance him to third. Street fielded the bunt but threw wide to first, allowing Ellison to race home with the go-ahead run.
“There are no excuses,” Street said.
Sean Green (4-1) pitched the eighth inning for the win.
Oakland appeared on its way to a split of the series after a sixth inning rally off Reitsma. Nick Swisher highlighted the rally with a bases clearing double that Suzuki watched bounce off the wall in left-center field, erasing Seattle’s 7-5 lead.
“At this point in time, a loss is a loss and it doesn’t matter how you do it,” Swisher said.
Neither starter was involved in the decision and Oakland’s Lenny DiNardo was gone long before either team rallied. DiNardo lasted just three innings and allowed seven earned runs. Five of the runs came with two outs, capped by Beltre’s three-run homer in the second. Suzuki also picked up his 1,500 career hit in the second inning, becoming the third fastest player to reach that mark.
DiNardo was coming off consecutive stellar performances against Texas and the Angels, giving up just one earned run in those two starts.
Washburn failed to keep Seattle’s big lead intact, giving up three runs in the third inning—two of those unearned after Beltre made two errors on one play. Piazza capped the third with a two-run single, then Oakland got two more in the fifth on Stewart’s homer and Jack Cust’s RBI single.
“The game had a little Friday the 13th in it I think,” Mariners manager John McLaren said. “These guys, when they got behind, it didn’t faze them a bit.”
The teams wore uniforms from 1977, the Mariners’ first season. … Sexson was ejected by first base umpire Mark Carlson after Donnie Murphy was called safe on an infield single. Sexson fell to the ground to catch a wide throw from SS Willie Bloomquist, but Carlson said Sexson pulled his foot. Sexson said a few words to Carlson and then was tossed. Sexson had glared at Carlson an inning earlier after being called out a check-swing third strike. … Street, who just came off the DL after missing 63 games, had not lost since April 11.