A’s send Mariners to ninth straight loss

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Dana Eveland altered his delivery and might have changed his future with the Oakland Athletics.

Eveland pitched seven strong innings and got all the support he needed on Travis Buck’s first home run since being called up from the minors as the A’s beat Seattle 2-0 on Friday night, sending the Mariners to their ninth straight loss.

“The biggest thing was I was able to work on my delivery,” said Eveland, who spent nearly three weeks in the minors last month working on his mechanics. “I stopped going over my head Nolan Ryan style and just simplified everything. It was something I had thought about doing when I started to struggle a little bit. Then when I got sent down our pitching coordinator was like, ‘Hey, why don’t we try it?”’

Eveland (9-8) pitched in and out of trouble all game but got out of a jam each time to earn the win, his first in six starts. The left-hander scattered seven hits, hit a batter and matched his career high with seven strikeouts to lead the A’s to their fifth victory in six games.

Four of Eveland’s wins this season have come against the Mariners.

He had lost three straight decisions when he was sent down to the minors in early August but is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in six starts since being recalled.

“I just liked everything he did out there,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “I really thought it was his curveball tonight. Right from the beginning against Ichiro (Suzuki) and when he got in some big jams he got some balls that started in the zone, broke out of the zone and they swung right over them. I thought that was his key.”

Joey Devine pitched the eighth and Brad Ziegler worked the ninth for his 10th save in 11 tries. The Mariners loaded the bases with two outs before Ziegler got Yuniesky Betancourt to ground out to end the game that lasted 2 hours, 5 minutes.

The A’s did all their scoring in the second inning off Felix Hernandez, who pitched effectively but couldn’t overcome another lack of offensive support from his teammates. The Mariners have been shut out four times this season with Hernandez (9-11) on the mound.

“This felt like the other ones, they’ve all been frustrating,” Seattle interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “We keep putting the hits out there, we just don’t get the RBI. We’ve had a heck of time driving in runs.”

A’s designated hitter Jack Cust struck out for the 186th and 187th time this season to break the American League record.

Oakland is 9-4 over its last 13 games and moved with 2 1/2 games of second-place Texas in the AL West.

The Mariners have lost 11 consecutive road games, their worst stretch since dropping 12 in a row away from home in 2006.

Hernandez allowed six hits in eight innings but remained winless in his last four starts. The right-hander was dominant through the first three innings and didn’t allow a hit until Buck homered leading off the fourth. Ryan Sweeney followed with a one-out double and scored on Kurt Suzuki’s single to make it 2-0.

“I can do nothing about it,” Hernandez said of his lack of run support. “Every four-seamer I threw they cut. (Buck’s home run) was the only one that stayed in the middle. This is baseball, nothing you can do about it.”

Buck’s home run was his fourth of the season and first since June 7.

That was enough offense against Seattle, which was shut out for the second straight game and the 12th time this season. The Mariners, who have not scored in 26 innings, were also shutout in consecutive games May 7-8.

The scoreless streak is the third-longest in Seattle history.

Cust struck out on a checked swing against Hernandez leading off the second and he fanned again with one out and a runner on second in the fourth.

Rob Deer of Milwaukee previously held the AL record when he struck out 186 times in 1987.

Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard set the major league record last season with 199 strikeouts.


Ichiro Suzuki had two hits, giving him 203 this season. He needs five more to reach 1,800 for his major league career. … Cust went into the game with a league-leading 101 walks. Since 1986 only two players—Jim Thome of Cleveland in 1999 and Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees in 2003—have led their respective leagues in strikeouts and walks. … Geren said RHP Kirk Saarloos will start Saturday against Seattle RHP Carlos Silva. … Oakland 2B Mark Ellis underwent surgery on his right shoulder in Arizona on Friday. “Everything went real good, everything’s fine,” Geren said.

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