Oakland at Seattle

Meche has impressive outing to guide Mariners past A's

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- Carl Everett's first homer with Seattle was just a small part of this victory.

Everett hit a two-run drive and every Mariner in the lineup had at least one hit in Seattle's 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.

"I don't know if it was just my turn. It just so happened my hit scored two runs," Everett said. "We put six runs on the board and not to be overlooked is our pitching."

The balanced hitting backed another strong outing for a Seattle starter, this time Gil Meche.

Everett's homer was part of a three-run second inning that was all the offense Meche needed. The right-hander pitched into the sixth, allowing just two runs and four hits, as the Mariners won their third straight.

In the first four games, Seattle's starters have a combined 3.55 ERA in 25 1/3 innings pitched. Meche (1-0) struck out six and walked three, relying heavily on his offspeed pitches. Meche said he couldn't remember throwing fewer fastballs, going mostly with a changeup that was working well during spring training.

Seattle's bullpen allowed one hit in 3 2/3 innings. J.J. Putz retired all four batters that he faced for his first save, striking out the side in the ninth.

"I kept them off balance for the most part throughout the game," Meche said. "I'm trying to go with what's working for me right now and spring training my changeup was phenomenal."

Raul Ibanez doubled and tripled and scored twice for Seattle. Kenji Johjima, Yuniesky Betancourt and Ichiro Suzuki all had two hits as the Mariners finished with 13 hits, their third consecutive game in double figures.

Betancourt, Johjima and Richie Sexson all had RBI singles, as the entire lineup had a hit for the second time in three games. And the Mariners didn't just sit on their early lead.

"To add the runs on is huge. You really couldn't write it up better than it happened tonight," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "Everybody is doing what they're supposed to do in the lineup."

Oakland starter Esteban Loaiza (0-1) struggled and couldn't make it out of the fifth. In 4 2/3 innings, he allowed five runs and nine hits, four of those for extra bases. He walked three and struck out one.

Loaiza has a history of starting the season strong. Of active pitchers with 20 or more decisions in April, Loaiza entered Thursday with the second-highest winning percentage (.783) behind only Pedro Martinez of the Mets.

But last year with Washington, Loaiza was 0-2 with a 4.13 ERA in April, and his first season with Oakland didn't start any better.

"He had a couple of misses on location," Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "Not any big innings, but he got his pitch count up."

Adrian Beltre ended a 10-pitch at-bat to start the second with a line-drive single to left. Loaiza was ahead of Everett in the count 1-2, but left a fastball over the middle of the plate that Everett hit into the right-field seats.

After an out, Jeremy Reed tripled to right-center and Betancourt singled through the drawn-in infield to give Seattle a 3-1 lead.

Everett is now 7-for-12 with two homers in his career against Loaiza, who saw his career ERA against Seattle balloon to 7.49, the highest of any opponent.

"He knows me and I know him," Loaiza said of Everett. "What else can I say? He's a good hitter."

Ibanez doubled to lead off the fifth and was at third with two outs. Instead of pitching to Everett, Macha went to the mound and had Loaiza intentionally walk Everett to bring up Johjima.

On the first pitch, Johjima singled between shortstop and third, scoring Ibanez. Brad Halsey entered and retired Reed to end the inning.

Eric Chavez hit his second homer of the season with one out in the sixth. It was the final batter Meche faced, having thrown 101 pitches.

Marco Scutaro opened the game with a triple and scored on Mark Kotsay's groundout. Chavez also doubled in the first.


  • Chavez moved into a tie with Sal Bando for seventh on the Athletics' career homer list. Both have 192.
  • Suzuki got his first stolen base of the season in the first inning.
  • Melhuse singled to center in the third in his first at-bat of the season.
  • Four Mariners -- Ibanez, Johjima, Reed and Suzuki -- have hit safely in all four games.
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Gil Meche strikes out six and only allows two runs before departing in the sixth inning.  (AP)
Gil Meche strikes out six and only allows two runs before departing in the sixth inning. (AP)

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Oakland Athletics
Marco Scutaro, SS3110210 .500
Mark Kotsay, CF4001014 .313
Mark Ellis, 2B4000012 .125
Eric Chavez, 3B2121200 .357
Dan Johnson, 1B4000005 .000
Milton Bradley, RF3000110 .308
Jay Payton, DH4000012 .167
Nick Swisher, LF4000040 .182
Adam Melhuse, C4020010 .500
2B - Eric Chavez (1, Meche)
3B - Marco Scutaro (1, Meche)
HR - Eric Chavez (2, Meche)
RBI - Mark Kotsay (2), Eric Chavez (2)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Chavez-Ellis-Johnson, Witasick-Johnson
Oakland Athletics
Esteban Loaiza (L,0-1) 4.2955311 9.64
Brad Halsey 1211000 7.71
Kiko Calero 1.1100110 0.00
Jay Witasick 1100110 6.00
IBB - Everett by Esteban Loaiza
Pitches-Strikes - Esteban Loaiza 98-57, Brad Halsey 13-9, Kiko Calero 17-6, Jay Witasick 21-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Esteban Loaiza 5-7, Brad Halsey 1-2
Batters Faced - Esteban Loaiza 25, Brad Halsey 5, Kiko Calero 5, Jay Witasick 4
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5120001 .353
Jose Lopez, 2B4010112 .412
Raul Ibanez, LF5220014 .400
Richie Sexson, 1B3011102 .333
Adrian Beltre, 3B4110003 .176
Carl Everett, DH2112210 .231
Kenji Johjima, C4021000 .400
Jeremy Reed, CF3110104 .333
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4021001 .267
2B - Raul Ibanez (1, Loaiza)
3B - Raul Ibanez (1, Loaiza), Jeremy Reed (1, Loaiza)
HR - Carl Everett (1, Loaiza)
RBI - Richie Sexson (8), Carl Everett 2 (2), Kenji Johjima (4), Yuniesky Betancourt (3)
2-OUT RBI - Richie Sexson (3), Kenji Johjima (2)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (1, 2nd base off Loaiza/Melhuse), Yuniesky Betancourt (1, 2nd base off Loaiza/Melhuse)
CS - Jeremy Reed (1, 2nd base by Calero/Melhuse)
Team LOB - 9
Seattle Mariners
Gil Meche (W,1-0) 5.1422261 3.38
Jake Woods (H,1) 2.1100310 0.00
J.J. Putz (S,1) 1.1000030 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 101-61, Jake Woods 48-22, J.J. Putz 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 3-7, Jake Woods 2-4, J.J. Putz 1-0
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 22, Jake Woods 11, J.J. Putz 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22701
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg