Brown’s homer beats Mariners in 11 innings
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Emil Brown rounded the bases, then grabbed A’s hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo and nearly smothered him in a hug—a good student acknowledging his teacher.
Brown hit a solo homer in the 11th inning, after Jack Cust and Kurt Suzuki hit solo shots in the ninth inning to tie the game, and Oakland rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursdsay.
Brown’s first career game-winning home run also gave Caesar Jimenez (0-1) his first career decision, after Huston Street (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the Athletics.
“I swung the bat, but Ty got me better prepared for that at-bat than any before,” Brown said. “He told me exactly what the guy would do and I kept that in the back of my mind like a game plan. He did exactly what Ty told me he would.”
Cust led off the ninth with his 17th home run, and second in as many games, off Brandon Morrow. The Mariners’ new closer came back to strike out Brown and Carlos Gonzalez, but Suzuki hit his first career pinch-hit homer on a 1-0 delivery to send the game to extra innings.
“I got myself loose just in case I would pinch hit,” Suzuki said. “It’s not easy to pinch hit against a guy who throws 100 miles an hour. You wait for the fastball and if you get one for a strike, you better not miss it.”
It was Morrow’s first career blown save and spoiled a stellar performance by R.A. Dickey, who gave up four hits over seven scoreless innings.
“It took me a moment to adjust,” Dickey said of working out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. “The bullpen mound is in the opposite direction of the game mound and that makes a big difference for a knuckleballer. It took me an inning to get used to it.”
A’s starter Greg Smith allowed four hits over six innings, but his offense failed to support him with a run for the seventh time—and with two or fewer for the 12th time in 18 starts.
“He’s pitched great for us all year,” Cust said. “It seems like he’s always on the short end of a pitcher’s duel. He’s doing everything he can to keep us in it and the best thing is that we won the game.”
Brad Ziegler worked an inning of relief for Oakland, extending his scoreless inning streak to 19 to start his career. He’s three shy of Boston’s Dave Ferriss for the American League record set in 1945.
The Mariners loaded the bases in the seventh and didn’t get any runs, before finally cracking the scoreboard in the eighth.
“You hate to keep saying we’re playing great baseball and all that stuff and still losing but we’re not cashing in on our opportunities,” Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. “The bottom line is we didn’t get enough hits or timely hits.”
Jose Lopez doubled leading off and went to third on Raul Ibanez’s deep fly to right. After Adrian Beltre was intentionally walked, Jose Vidro dribbled a grounder up the middle that was flagged down by Mark Ellis. The throw to first was too late, allowing Lopez to score.
Seattle added another run in the ninth, when Willie Bloomquist hit a one-out double and stole third. Lopez followed with a double to deep left field that made it 2-0.
“We’ve been playing better baseball for the last month,” Bloomquist said. “If our pitchers keep doing what they’ve been doing, we’re going to win more than we lose. If they do what they’ve been doing, I like our chances.”
Ailing A’s outfielder Ryan Sweeney had two hits before leaving the game with a dislocated left pinkie following a stolen base attempt in the bottom of the third.
He’s already missed time with a left toe injury and a sprained left ankle, but was batting .351 with six multi-hit games over his last 10 since returning to the lineup.
He was replaced by Rajai Davis in the outfield.
The Mariners placed 1B Richie Sexson on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. … Mariners’ LHP Erik Bedard went on the disabled list with stiffness in his left shoulder retroactive to July 5. … The Mariners recalled RHP Jared Wells and selected IF Tug Hulett from Tacoma of the PCL. … Smith matched Kenny Rogers for the most pickoffs in a season (10) by an Oakland pitcher since 1987 after catching Miguel Cairo in the fifth. … RHP Sean Gallagher makes his A’s debut against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, becoming the 10th rookie (fifth rookie pitcher) to play for the A’s. … Morrow has allowed four runs this year, all on solo homers. … Suzuki’s pinch hit home run was the first for the A’s since Adam Melhuse delivered against the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 28, 2006. That had been the longest drought in the majors.