OAKLAND, Calif. -- Maybe Oakland's surprising streak against Seattle means little. The way the surging Athletics are playing, it could as easily be Tampa Bay, Texas or Toronto on the losing end of things.
"I don't care who we're playing," second baseman Mark Ellis said. "We're taking advantage of our opportunities."
Ellis homered for the second time in three games with a three-run shot as the A's matched the 1974 Atlanta Braves for the longest winning streak against a division opponent since divisional play started in 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Braves won 15 straight versus the San Diego Padres that year.
Yet Oakland has had a longer winning streak against one opponent, getting 16 straight victories against the New York Yankees from Sept. 9, 1989, through May 1, 1991.
Haren (11-9) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter to win his fifth straight start for the first-place A's, who increased their AL West lead to a season-best 6½ games over Los Angeles after the Angels lost 9-3 at Texas. It's Oakland's biggest advantage in the division since having a seven-game lead on Sept. 30, 1992.
Oakland, 12-2 in August, won its sixth straight game and 12th in 13 and sent Seattle to its season-worst seventh consecutive defeat and 16th in a row against the division.
The Mariners are 0-7 on their 11-game road trip that resumes Thursday with the opener of a four-game series in Anaheim.
"It's a learning process," manager Mike Hargrove said. "We're getting valuable lessons. The bad part of it is we're getting our butts kicked while it's going on. We'll come out of this."
Nick Swisher, who delivered the key hits in the first two games of the series for Oakland, drew walks in his first three plate appearances and scored the first two times -- including on a balk in the fourth.
Ellis, Oakland's former leadoff hitter now batting in the No. 9 spot, connected off Gil Meche (9-8) with a drive into the left-field seats with two outs in the second for his eighth homer of the year.
Justin Duchscherer, Joe Kennedy and Huston Street completed the 10-hit shutout for the A's, who have a 10-game winning streak against Seattle in the Coliseum.
The Mariners loaded the bases against Haren with one out in the fourth but he struck out Willie Bloomquist swinging and also got Ichiro Suzuki swinging on an 87 mph splitter. The right-hander, 5-1 in seven career starts against Seattle, recorded seven straight outs beginning with Bloomquist.
"My stuff was as good as it's been all year," said Haren, helped by a sensational catch from center fielder Mark Kotsay against the wall on Suzuki's hard-hit ball in the first. "I think in order to win so many games against one team you have to catch a few breaks."
Meche, who has allowed 29 runs over his last five outings, lost his third straight start and matched his career high by dropping a fourth consecutive decision. He is winless in six starts since a victory July 14 at Toronto.
He pitched the Mariners' lone win over the A's on April 6 at Safeco Field, but was tagged for four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings Wednesday.
Kotsay extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a seventh-inning double, while Adrian Beltre got a hit in his 12th straight game when he singled to left in the first for Seattle.
|Dan Haren allows no runs and strikes out eight through six innings for his 11th win. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||5||0||2||0||0||1||5||.325|
|Jose Lopez, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||0||2||.277|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.263|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||4||0||2||0||0||2||0||.271|
|Eduardo Perez, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.274|
|Ben Broussard, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.300|
|a- Mike Morse, PH-1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.391|
|Kenji Johjima, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.298|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.301|
|Willie Bloomquist, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.254|
|a-struck out for Broussard in the 8th|
|2B - Eduardo Perez (10, Haren)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|DP - Betancourt-J. Lopez-Broussard|
|Gil Meche (L,9-8)||5.1||6||4||4||4||3||1||4.66|
|IBB - Thomas by Eric O'Flaherty|
|WP - Gil Meche 2 (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 109-60, Sean Green 4-3, Eric O'Flaherty 12-6, Julio Mateo 17-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 6-7, Sean Green 1-0, Eric O'Flaherty 1-0, Julio Mateo 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Gil Meche 26, Sean Green 2, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Julio Mateo 4|
|Jason Kendall, C||4||0||3||0||0||0||1||.279|
|Mark Kotsay, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.268|
|Milton Bradley, RF||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.270|
|Frank Thomas, DH||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.262|
|Antonio Perez, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.095|
|Eric Chavez, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.242|
|Jay Payton, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.291|
|Nick Swisher, 1B||1||2||0||0||3||1||0||.254|
|Marco Scutaro, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.245|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||4||1||2||3||0||0||1||.224|
|2B - Mark Kotsay (20, O'Flaherty)|
|HR - Mark Ellis (8, Meche)|
|RBI - Mark Ellis 3 (37)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mark Ellis 3 (10)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Marco Scutaro (11, )|
|Dan Haren (W,11-9)||6||7||0||0||0||8||0||3.45|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 101-70, Justin Duchscherer 12-9, Joe Kennedy 15-11, Huston Street 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 5-6, Joe Kennedy 2-0, Huston Street 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Dan Haren 26, Justin Duchscherer 4, Joe Kennedy 4, Huston Street 4|
|Attendance - 34077|
|Game Time - 2:45|
|Temperature - 60|
|Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Bill Welke|