Seattle Mariners

Manaea pitches into the eighth, Lowrie drives in four as A's hold off Mariners

Manaea pitches into the eighth, Lowrie drives in four as A's hold off Mariners


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. 

Baby Steps
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.”

What’s Next
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.

A's take sole possession of second wild card spot


A's take sole possession of second wild card spot

The A's had Thursday off on the field, but not in the postseason standings. With the Mariners losing 7-3 to the Blue Jays, the A's now sit as the lone team with the second AL wild card spot. 

And Oakland isn't too far from the top either. 

The A's (64-46) are just five games out of the AL West, as the Astros lead the division with a 69-46 record. In the wild card standings, the A's are only 5.5 games back of the Yankees (68-39). 

To say the A's are hot right now is an understatement. A big one.

Over their last 40 games, the A's are 30-10. They also now own the fourth-best record in all of baseball. 

The A's have not made the postseason since 2014, when they lost a devastating wild card game to the Royals, 9-8. On Friday night, the A's begin a home series against the Tigers.

Rays trade former Giants outfielder to Mariners


Rays trade former Giants outfielder to Mariners

SEATTLE -- Rather than waiting to see where the Seattle Mariners are sitting by the time the trade market heats up, general manager Jerry Dipoto decided to be proactive.

Rewarding a strong start in spite of numerous injuries and the suspension of Robinson Cano, the Mariners pulled off the first big trade of the season Friday, landing outfielder Denard Span and right-handed reliever Alex Colome from the Tampa Bay Rays for two minor leaguers.

It's not a blockbuster deal, but it does immediately improve the Mariners after spending the first two months dealing with a number of significant injuries and still finding themselves near the top of the AL West.

"They're going to fit in our clubhouse and really fit too to what we think are critical needs," Dipoto said. "The fact we were able to do it and maintain another four, five months of their contribution for this year, it's so much different than an ordinary in-season or July-type of pick up."

Seattle was seeking outfield depth and a boost for a heavily used bullpen to keep up momentum from a strong start to the season, despite injures to five starting position players, including Cano prior to his suspension. The Mariners entered Friday nine games over .500 and off to their best start since 2003.

"I think it's an awesome message that everything we've dealt with in the last eight-to-10 days here - it starts at the ownership level and front office - that we're all in on this season," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "That even though we had a setback with Robbie and the injury and suspension it's not going to derail us. Our eyes are set on the goal and that's getting to the playoffs and I think this helps us."

Tampa Bay will send Seattle $4.75 million to cover a portion of the $13,840,860 the Mariners took on with the acquisition of Span and Colome, although the Mariners had an unexpected $11 million freed up due to Cano's suspension.

Span is assured $10,193,548 - $6,193,548 remaining of this year's $9 million salary and a $4 million buyout of a $12 million mutual option. Colome has $3,647,312 left in his $5.3 million salary this year and can become a free agent after the 2020 season.

Seattle sent minor league right-handers Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero to Tampa Bay, but the Rays continued to shed salary from a roster that was already 28th out of 30 clubs on opening day according to MLB figures.

"This usually is the time where you're still learning about your club and where you're at competitively," Rays GM Erik Neander said. "I think some circumstances changed in Seattle with respect to where their team is at, where their finances were at and that led to some motivation from them to seek and try to find ways to improve their team."

Colome may be the most important piece of the acquisition for Seattle because of what he'll add to the bullpen, and he will be under club control for a few more years. He was an All-Star in 2016 with the Rays and led the major leagues with 47 saves last year, but will likely need to accept a setup role in Seattle with closer Edwin Diaz leading the AL with 17 saves this season.

Colome has 11 saves this year, but has allowed 10 earned runs in 21 2/3 innings.

"I just think it adds an unbelievable depth to a really good group already," Servais said. "When you're running guys in there three, four days in a row, you don't have to over-extend anybody."

Span has played both center field and left field in his career. He was hitting .238 in 48 games with the Rays, but his ability to play multiple spots in the outfield is the big benefit to Seattle after Dee Gordon's move to second base following to Robinson Cano's suspension. Dipoto said Span will likely be the regular left fielder with Ben Gamel transitioning to a reserve role and Guillermo Heredia holding down center.

Tampa Bay acquired Span from San Francisco in December after he signed a three-year free agent contract with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. Span was still processing the deal before leaving Tampa Bay. He said when he got through spring training without being traded, he believed it would be closer to the trade deadline before possibly getting moved.

"I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, but this is home for me," Span said. "It is disappointing. I can say that for sure. I was just trying to get settled in here and we were winning, we were having a good time. Maybe if this had happened after the first week of spring training or whatever, I would have been more prepared."

The Rays also sent minor league right-hander Peter Bayer to Oakland for right-hander Wilmer Font. Oakland acquired Font from the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 25 and designated him for assignment Wednesday.