SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners took advantage of the sloppy Oakland defense and got their easiest win of the season.
Robinson Cano had three hits and an RBI, and Seattle benefited from the Athletics’ season-high four errors in a 7-2 victory Saturday night.
The Mariners got their first victory of the season by more than three runs. They lead the majors with 14 one-run games and 27 of their 30 games have been decided by three runs or fewer.
“It has been stressful in a lot of ways,” said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, who earned his 100th victory as the club’s skipper. “You like to blow a game out but it just hasn’t happened to this point.”
The A’s helped the Mariners out, as the errors contributed to five of the seven runs. It was Oakland’s most errors since Aug. 22, 2012, against Minnesota and gave the A’s a major league-leading 32 on the season.
“We’re making some young mistakes,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We have a lot of range, we get to a lot of balls then end up making a mistake. It’s the consistency of it. We play a really good game when we’ll make some great plays and then we’ll play another game where we make four errors and you’re not going to win any game making four errors.”
Nelson Cruz and Seth Smith also each had a pair of hits and an RBI for Seattle.
“We run the bases hard and put pressure on the defense,” Cruz said. “Today, it paid off.”
The Cano-Cruz combo produced one run in the first and a rare double-error play by shortstop Marcus Semien sent home another.
Cruz doubled home Cano, and after Kyle Seager walked, Logan Morrison hit a sharp grounder up the middle but it caromed off Semien’s glove. Semien then threw wildly to home, allowing Cruz to score.
Cruz’s infield single in the fifth triggered a throwing error by third baseman Brett Lawrie that sent two more runs home.
J.A. Happ (3-1) pitched five innings for the victory, allowing one run and four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
“It’s great to get two in the first and add one more early in the game,” Happ said. “And they stayed on them throughout. It was good to see that out of our guys.”
Jesse Hahn (1-3) worked 5 1-3 innings for the A’s, allowing six runs, eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
“I can’t knock these guys,” said Hahn, who made one of the errors on a wild pickoff throw in the sixth. “They are trying as hard as they can; I’m trying to make pitches they are trying to make plays. It’s on me in the first place, letting those runners get on base, putting them in a tough position.”
Mark Canha hit his fifth home run for the A’s in the eighth, and Semien finished with three hits.
After the game McClendon was given a beer shower by the players in the middle of the clubhouse for his milestone win.
“We see it that way (big deal),” Cruz said. “We’re happy for him.”
Athletics: RHP Jarrod Parker, coming back from a second Tommy John elbow surgery, had a setback Friday, grasping his elbow in pain after a pitch for Triple-A Nashville. X-rays and a CT scan at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Saturday revealed a fracture of the medial epichondal bone, in the same area where the surgery was performed. There was no timetable for his recovery. … RHP A.J. Griffin, also coming back from elbow surgery, flew back to the Bay Area to have his ailing right shoulder examined.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (strained lat dorsi muscle) is not expected back with the club until at least the end of the month.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-0, 1.73), the only AL pitcher with five wins, will be shooting for a 6-0 record against the A’s. He also needs five strikeouts for 2,000 in his career. At age 29 and 32 days, he would be the fourth youngest pitcher in history to reach that milestone.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez (1-2, 1.80) will be making his fourth start after beginning the season in the bullpen. He won his previous start — 2-1 at Minnesota on Tuesday for his first victory since July 23, 2014. He is 0-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 12 career appearances against Seattle, including three starts.
COCO MOVES TO LEFT
A’s outfielder Coco Crisp made his third start in left field Saturday, a position he had not played since 2012. The 14-year veteran had played 1,122 games in center and just 234 in left. Manager Bob Melvin made the switch to accommodate just promoted CF Billy Burns.
MILLER TIME IN LEFT
Brad Miller, who started 25 games at shortstop until injured Chris Taylor came off the DL, is transitioning to left field. McClendon, who played five positions in his eight-year career, said the biggest adjustment will be getting enough carry and accuracy on his arm.