OAKLAND -- With a 7-6 win over the Mariners Monday evening at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Athletics extended their lead in the wild-card race to 2.5 games over Seattle and moved to within just two games of the idle Houston Astros for the best record in the West.
Jed Lowrie fueled the A’s offense, driving in the game’s first three runs and then added his fourth RBI of the game in the sixth with a double down the line.
Matt Chapman put on a show with his glove, including a run saving diving stop in the hole in the fourth inning. He tied a team record for the second time this season with three doubles and also scored three runs batting in front of Lowrie in the two spot.
Sean Manaea shut the Mariners down for much of the night, yielding just two run on five hits over 7.2 innings of work. With the win, Manaea improved to 11-8 on the season for Oakland and has now allowed three runs or fewer in 13 consecutive starts.
The Athletics tagged Mariners starter, Marco Gonzales, for eight hits and four runs over five innings. Oakland jumped all over Casey Lawrence in the sixth, scoring three times in the frame and appeared to put the game out reach.
Kyle Seager drove in the first run for Seattle with a single in the fourth that scored Mitch Haniger. The Mariners scored two runs in the eighth and then added three more in the ninth to cut the A’s lead to one.
With Haniger at first, Blake Treinen struck out Cameron Maybin for the second out of the ninth. Jean Segura picked up an infield single to put the tying run at second, but the A’s closer sealed the deal by striking out Nelson Cruz to pick up his 31st save of the season.
Oakland improved to a season-best 23 games over .500 with the victory and sit at 71-48 on the year. They have now won three straight and they are 37-12 over their last 49 games.
During his pregame meeting with the media, Bob Melvin updated the status of three of the A’s many injured pitchers sitting on the disabled list. Paul Blackburn, Andrew Triggs and Jharel Cotton have started throwing programs.
There is an outside chance that both Blackburn and Triggs can make it back to Oakland before the season ends.
“We hold out hope for that,” Melvin said. “With September and extended rosters, I think there is the potential for that.”
Cotton underwent Tommy John surgery in March and is out for the season. Beginning a throwing program is a big step for the 26-year-old pitcher.
“I think everything is on schedule, but I think for him it’s a big day because it’s a lot of hard work coming off of Tommy John, that’s a lot tough thing to rehab from,” Melvin said. “It can be a lonely existence when you’re doing that.”
Mike Fiers takes the bump for his second start as a member of the A’s staff Tuesday evening at 7:05. He lasted 5.1 innings in his first game for Oakland, giving up four hits and a run while striking out eight in the Athletics 3-2 win over Anaheim on last Wednesday. Fiers will faceoff against left hander veteran, James Paxton, who is 10-5 with 3.63 era for the Mariners this season.