Oakland at Seattle

W: J. Blanton (13-9) L: H. Ramirez (8-6)
S: H. Street (13)
HR: OAK - K. Suzuki (7), D. Johnson (15)   SEA - J. Guillen (20)

A's hit two grand slams, hand M's 14th loss in past 16 games

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners' historical slide reached a new low -- permitting something that had happened only one other time in 106 years.

Kurt Suzuki hit his first career grand slam and Dan Johnson also hit one as the Oakland Athletics beat sinking Seattle 9-3 on Monday night.

It was the second time in their 106-year history the Athletics had two slams in one game. Oakland had only three in their first 144 games this season.

"We love home runs," said manager Bob Geren, whose team won for just the second time in six games on its road trip. "Two of them for eight runs? You can't do much better than that."

Mariners starter Horacio Ramirez allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings as Seattle lost for the 14th time in 16 games, among the worst falls by a contending team in September over the last half-century.

The Mariners are 5½ games behind the wild card-leading New York Yankees and 8½ behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West with 20 games remaining. On Aug. 26, they were leading the wild-card race by two games and were just one game behind the Angels.

"As long as there is a possibility, you always work for the playoffs," All-star Ichiro Suzuki said through an interpreter.

Asked what can be done that hasn't been tried, Suzuki said "nothing."

Rookie manager John McLaren stepped over ice cubes strewn across a carpeted hallway inside the silent Mariners clubhouse and then paused for a moment when asked what's left to do.

"Pitch a little better. Maybe hit a little better," McLaren said, glumly. "It's easy to get down, but the guys care. To a man, they're not happy right now."

Suzuki, who grounded into just his sixth double play in 640 plate appearances to end the third inning, was asked what is the difference from the Mariners of two weeks ago to now. The franchise cornerstone glared with his arms folded across his chest and said through an interpreter, "Look at the box scores."

This one showed Joe Blanton (13-9) allowing two runs and eight hits over seven innings. He won for the fifth time in six decisions -- but for the first time in four starts against Seattle.

Jose Guillen hit his 20th home run in the eighth off Alan Embree to bring Seattle within 5-3. Johnson hit his third career grand slam in the ninth off Ryan Rowland-Smith.

Huston Street got the final four outs for his 13th save in 17 chances. Rookie Daric Barton, a 21-year-old called up from Triple-A Sacramento by Oakland on Monday to start at first base for the rest of the season, walked twice, doubled in the sixth for his first major-league hit and singled in the eighth.

"A great debut from a guy we've all heard a lot about," Geren said of Barton, who dressed quickly and ran out to meet his waiting family.

Ramirez (7-6) was as bad as the Mariners needed him to be good -- which about summarizes his first season with them.

In the second, Ramirez gave up a single to Mark Ellis and walked Johnson -- who was batting .163 since July 3. Then Jack Hannahan, 3-for-16 (.188) on the road trip and a minor leaguer until last month, singled home Ellis.

Ramirez walked Barton on a full count to load the bases. Kurt Suzuki, the No. 9 hitter, drove Ramirez's second pitch off a cement wall deep in the A's bullpen. That put Oakland ahead 5-0.

"When I do get one, I'm not sure if it's gone," Suzuki said.

After an out and another single, McLaren walked briskly to the mound, stared past Ramirez into the bullpen and summoned rookie Ryan Feierabend. McLaren extended his left arm to get the ball from Ramirez without saying a word and without making eye contact. Ramirez trudged off to loud boos.

"I was walking off the mound. I wasn't noticing," a frustrated Ramirez said of McLaren's steely glare.

Feierabend pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out five. McLaren hinted he may have earned a start -- perhaps for Ramirez.

Ramirez's ERA climbed to 6.80 by allowing at least five runs for the seventh time in 19 starts. He has won just once in the last 30 days, a span of six starts. His wins are largely because his hitters were giving him an average of 7.19 runs per start -- the fourth-best support in the AL -- until they met Blanton on Monday.

Blanton's only trouble came when Ben Broussard singled and Jose Vidro doubled to begin the seventh. Kenji Johjima and Jose Lopez had consecutive RBI groundouts to make it 5-2.


  • The A's pulled Barton, who was acquired from St. Louis in the trade of LHP Mark Mulder in December 2004, out of the PCL championship series so he could get a true test against contenders Seattle, Cleveland, Boston and the Angels over the last 18 games. Barton hit four home runs in a five-game playoff series with Sacramento that ended Sunday.
  • Guillen was hit by a pitch in the fifth, his team-record 18th time this season.
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Dan Johnson belts grand slam No. 2, only the second time ever the A's have hit two slams in one game.  (AP)
Dan Johnson belts grand slam No. 2, only the second time ever the A's have hit two slams in one game. (AP)

Players of the Game

K. Suzuki
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

D. Johnson
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF5010001 .281
Marco Scutaro, SS4110100 .266
Nick Swisher, CF-RF5110021 .263
Jack Cust, RF3000130 .257
    Kevin Thompson, PR-CF0000000 .192
   a- Mike Piazza, PH1000002 .276
    Jeff DaVanon, CF0000000 .200
Mark Ellis, 2B4230101 .271
Dan Johnson, DH4224110 .230
Jack Hannahan, 3B5121012 .274
Daric Barton, 1B3120201 .667
Kurt Suzuki, C4114015 .248
a-fouled out for Thompson in the 9th
2B - Mark Ellis (29, Feierabend), Jack Hannahan (6, Rowland-Smith), Daric Barton (1, Feierabend)
HR - Dan Johnson (15, Rowland-Smith), Kurt Suzuki (7, Ramirez)
RBI - Dan Johnson 4 (55), Jack Hannahan (16), Kurt Suzuki 4 (30)
2-OUT RBI - Dan Johnson 4 (19)
SB - Nick Swisher (3, 2nd base off Morrow/Johjima)
CS - Shannon Stewart (2, 2nd base by Morrow/Johjima)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Ellis-Scutaro-Barton, Hannahan-Ellis-Barton
E - Kevin Thompson (1, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Joe Blanton (W,13-9) 7822110 3.77
Alan Embree (H,14) 0.2111101 4.14
Huston Street (S,13) 1.1100010 3.14
HBP - Guillen (by Joe Blanton)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 96-66, Alan Embree 13-7, Huston Street 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 12-6, Huston Street 2-1
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 29, Alan Embree 4, Huston Street 5
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF5020012 .351
Adrian Beltre, 3B5000014 .280
Raul Ibanez, LF3000101 .283
Jose Guillen, RF3111001 .290
Ben Broussard, 1B3120002 .289
   a- Adam Jones, PH1000000 .270
    Mike Morse, 1B00000001.000
Jose Vidro, DH3110103 .313
Kenji Johjima, C4001002 .285
Jose Lopez, 2B3011000 .260
   b- Jeremy Reed, PH1010000 .250
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3020001 .288
   c- Jeff Clement, PH1000001 .000
a-popped out for Broussard in the 8th
b-singled for J. Lopez in the 9th
c-flied out for Betancourt in the 9th
2B - Jose Vidro (22, Blanton)
HR - Jose Guillen (20, Embree)
RBI - Jose Guillen (89), Kenji Johjima (57), Jose Lopez (55)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Raul Ibanez 1
Seattle Mariners
Horacio Ramirez (L,8-6) 1.2455211 6.80
Ryan Feierabend 5.1400250 6.80
George Sherrill 1100020 2.63
Brandon Morrow 0.2233200 4.34
Ryan Rowland-Smith 0.1211001 4.35
Pitches-Strikes - Horacio Ramirez 44-28, Ryan Feierabend 80-50, George Sherrill 15-13, Brandon Morrow 19-7, Ryan Rowland-Smith 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Horacio Ramirez 2-2, Ryan Feierabend 4-6
Batters Faced - Horacio Ramirez 11, Ryan Feierabend 21, George Sherrill 4, Brandon Morrow 5, Ryan Rowland-Smith 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26698
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion