SEATTLE (AP) — J.P. Crawford dropped a two-run single into left field in the seventh inning to give Seattle the lead, and the Mariners closed out the winningest month in franchise history by beating the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Wednesday.
Seattle rallied from a pair of deficits to finish August on a high note. Seattle went 21-6 in the month, bettering the previous franchise record of 20 victories in a month.
The Mariners have won 13 of their last 15 games and will head into September in the middle of an AL West title race with Houston and Texas.
Teoscar Hernández capped his hot month with a three-run homer in the third inning — his 23rd of the season — that erased an 3-0 deficit. But it was Crawford who came through after Seattle fell behind 4-3.
The Mariners’ rally in the seventh inning came off reliever Kirby Snead (1-2), who had not allowed an earned run in his previous 10 appearances. Dominic Canzone doubled, Mike Ford singled and Dylan Moore walked to load the bases.
Following a strikeout, Crawford hit a soft liner the opposite way to score a pair and give Seattle the lead. Crawford is 7 for 11 this season when hitting with the bases loaded.
Justin Topa (4-4) got the victory despite giving up the lead in the seventh. Aledmys Díaz lined a ground-rule double down the left field line and Esteury Ruiz followed with his own double that barely eluded the dive of Eugenio Suárez at third base. Pinch-runner Nick Allen scored easily and Oakland had a 4-3 lead.
Oakland tried to add on but Ruiz was thrown out at home plate by Hernández attempting to score on Ryan Noda’s flyout to right field. It was Hernández’s 12th assist this season, most among AL outfielders.
Matt Brash worked through the eighth, striking out pinch-hitter Tony Kemp to end the inning with Brent Rooker standing at third as the tying run. Andrés Muñoz pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 14 chances.
Oakland scored three times in the second inning off Bryce Miller, including Lawrence Butler’s two-run homer and Noda’s RBI single. Miller threw six innings, allowing seven hits and struck out five.
Seattle’s three-run outburst in the third inning came with two outs and was the only damage against Zach Neal, who allowed three hits in five innings and struck out six.
Mariners: CF Julio Rodríguez missed his second straight game with a sore left foot. Rodríguez was a late scratch before Tuesday’s game after developing nerve issue in the foot. ... RHP George Kirby will slot back into the rotation sometime during Seattle’s upcoming series against the New York Mets. Kirby was the scheduled starter Tuesday but was scratched due to illness.
Athletics: Following a day off, the A’s will open a series at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. LHP JP Sears (2-11, 4.80) will start the opener against LHP Patrick Sandoval (7-10, 3.95) for the Angels.
Mariners: After an off day, Seattle will open a 10-game road trip in New York against the Mets on Friday. Seattle has not set its rotation for the series.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
Tim Booth, The Associated Press