SEATTLE (AP) — On Wednesday afternoon, the Oakland A’s nearly matched their best month of the season. Instead, it was their opponent, the Seattle Mariners, who wished August would never end after rallying to defeat the A’s 5-4.
“Isn’t there like 60 days in August?” “I wish there was,” joked Mariners manager Scott Servais. “What an eventful month.”
The Mariners finished the month with the most wins in team history after J.P. Crawford hit a two-run single into left field in the seventh inning to give Seattle a one-run lead after rallying from a pair of deficits.
The A’s came into Wednesday’s game with the more modest goal of matching their season high for wins in a month. Instead, Oakland (39-95) finished the month with a 9-17 record, one win less than its season-high 10-16 mark in June.
Seattle went 21-6 in the month, breaking the franchise record of 20 wins in a month. The Mariners have won 13 of their last 15 games and will enter September tied for first place in the AL West with Houston and Texas.
The last time Seattle entered September with at least a share of first place was in 2001, when the Mariners also won the AL West.
“Twenty-one wins in a month, and there was a really special team here that won 116 games one year and they didn’t even do that,” Servais said, referring to Seattle’s 2001 team, which won 116 games during that record-breaking season.
Teoscar Hernández capped a scorching month with a three-run homer in the third inning, his 23rd of the season, which erased a 3-0 deficit. Crawford, however, came through after Seattle fell behind 4-3.
The Mariners’ seventh-inning rally came against reliever Kirby Snead (1-2), who had not allowed an earned run in his previous ten appearances. To load the bases, Dominic Canzone doubled, Mike Ford singled, and Dylan Moore walked.
Following a strikeout, Crawford hit a soft liner the other way, scoring two runs and giving Seattle the lead. Crawford is 7 for 11 this season when the bases are loaded.
“J.P. is going to put the ball in play, and he’s not going to try to do too much in those spots,” Servais explained. “He’s picked up on that over the years, and I think it’s a great example for our younger players to follow.”
Despite giving up the lead in the seventh, Justin Topa (4-4) won. Aledmys Daz led off with a ground-rule double down the left field line, and Esteury Ruiz followed with a double that eluded Eugenio Suárez’s dive at third base. Oakland led 4-3 after Pinch-runner Nick Allen scored easily.
Oakland attempted to score on Ryan Noda’s flyout to right field, but Ruiz was thrown out at home plate by Hernández. Hernández had his 12th assist of the season, the most among AL outfielders. Ruiz was initially declared safe, but the decision was reversed on replay.
“I was surprised when he was called safe, but I know I made a really, really good throw, and I’m glad they overturned it,” Hernández explained.
Matt Brash pitched into the eighth inning, striking out pinch-hitter Tony Kemp to end the inning with Brent Rooker on third base as the tying run. Andrés Muoz came in to pitch the ninth inning for his 11th save in 14 chances.
Oakland scored three runs in the second inning off Bryce Miller, including a two-run homer by rookie Lawrence Butler and an RBI single by Noda. Miller pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and striking out five batters.
“Today was a good day for Butler. I saw him pull the ball the other way and hit a home run. We’ve all heard about his ability to drive the ball. “It showed up again today,” said Oakland manager Mark Kotsay.
Seattle’s three-run third-inning outburst came with two outs and was the only damage against Zach Neal, who allowed three hits and struck out six in five innings.
THE TRAINER’S ROOM
RHP in athletics On Wednesday, Freddy Tarnok underwent right hip surgery. He’ll be ready for the start of spring training next season.
CF for the Mariners Julio Rodriguez missed his second consecutive game due to a sore left foot. Rodrguez was a late scratch for Tuesday’s game due to a nerve issue in his foot. Servais stated after the game that he hopes Rodrguez will be back in the lineup sometime during the Mets’ series in New York.
WHAT COMES NEXT Following a day off on Thursday, the A’s will begin a series against the Los Angeles Angels at home on Friday. LHP JP Sears (2-11, 4.80) will start for the Angels against LHP Patrick Sandoval (7-10, 3.95).