Piazza and Stewart each get 3 hits, 2 RBIs as A’s sink Mariners even deeper, 7-4
SEATTLE (AP)—After manager John McLaren lost his cool, the Seattle Mariners lost again.
The Oakland Athletics handed the free-falling Mariners their 15th defeat in 17 games, breaking away after McLaren was ejected for a 7-4 victory Tuesday night.
Seattle dropped 6 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card race with 19 games left. General manager Bill Bavasi met with McLaren for the second straight night, then with the entire coaching staff.
“I’m frustrated. We are getting frustrated, let’s be honest about it,” McLaren said after his third ejection in 65 games since taking over when Mike Hargrove abruptly resigned on July 1. “I don’t know what else to say.”
McLaren was tossed in the fourth inning after Jarrod Washburn walked Donnie Murphy with the bases loaded, tying at 1. Plate umpire Chris Guccione called ball four on a pitch that appeared well off the plate and Washburn shouted “that’s not inside!” and punctuated it with an expletive.
McLaren got ejected while yelling from the dugout, and he came out to confront the umpire, who rolled his eyes and looked away. McLaren pointed both his index fingers toward Guccione’s chest.
When crew chief Tom Hallion intervened, McLaren yelled at him, too, before stomping off to the night’s loudest cheers from the home crowd.
“I took up for Wash,” McLaren said. “I just want these guys to know I’m behind them.”
Ellis credited not chasing as many bad pitches as the reason he has 10 hits in his last three games—the last Oakland player to do that was Carney Lansford in 1998.
“It is quite an accomplishment,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”
Ellis’ streak of 102 straight games without an error, an A’s record for a second baseman, came to an end.
After walking Jose Lopez to load the bases in the seventh, Brown struck out Yuniesky Betancourt on three pitches to strand the tying runs. Street got his 14th save in 18 chances by finishing the ninth.
Washburn (9-14) allowed six runs on eight hits and a season high-tying five walks in 5 2-3 innings.
He is 17-28 with a 4.58 ERA in 60 starts over his first two seasons in Seattle. Not quite what the Mariners were seeking when they gave him $37 million for four years.
Washburn declined to talk to reporters after the game.
Washburn would have escaped having allowed only four runs and a no-decision — but reliever Eric O’Flaherty walked Nick Swisher to load the bases and Piazza blooped a two-run single that put Oakland up 6-4.
Sean Green entered and promptly allowed Ellis’ fourth hit, which scored Swisher to make it 7-4. That was the 10th hit in 14 at-bats for Ellis.
The Mariners tied it in the fifth after Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single and Braden balked him to second. Raul Ibanez singled one out later to make it 4-2. Ibanez scored following consecutive singles by Jose Guillen and Kenji Johjima.
Johjima created the tying run when he extended both arms skyward to break up a potential double-play grounder by Jose Vidro. Shortstop Murphy’s throw banged off Johjima’s left wrist, resulting in only a force out and an RBI for Vidro that tied it at 4.
Johjima left the game with a bruised left wrist. McLaren said “it’s a lot better than we thought,” though Johjima is unlikely to play Wednesday.
Braden allowed eight hits and four runs in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out one and still has not had a victory since his first start of the season, April 24. … An MRI exam showed that the left hamstring that kept Seattle 1B Richie Sexson out for the ninth time in 11 games has tendinitis. He will continue physical therapy.