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Oakland at Seattle

W: G. Smith (6-12) L: R. Rowland-Smith (2-2)
S: B. Ziegler (4)
HR: OAK - E. Brown (12)   SEA - None

Athletics 2, Mariners 0

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- Greg Smith and Brad Ziegler are rookies, yet they are already in step with the rest of the American League.

They love facing the Seattle Mariners.

Smith allowed four hits over six innings for his first victory since June, and Ziegler got out of his own bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth as the Athletics beat Seattle 2-0 on Thursday night.

The victory moved Oakland to 7-25 since the All-Star break.

Smith (6-12), one of the 10 rookies on Oakland's current roster, is 1-0 with 12 scoreless innings in two starts against the Mariners. He's 5-12 with a 4.08 ERA against everyone else. He had six consecutive losses from June 30.

"I can't put my finger on it. If I could, I'd patent it," the 24-year-old said of his mini-mastery of the Mariners. "Maybe it's a lineup thing."

Yeah, maybe.

The Mariners (46-81) lost their seventh consecutive game and are an AL-worst 35 games under .500. They wasted a three-hit night from Ichiro Suzuki and a solid effort from converted reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-2), who allowed only four hits in a career-high seven innings.

They are a major league-worst 12-27 against left-handed starters -- and will see three more in this weekend series. The A's have an all-lefty rotation for only the second time in Oakland history. The first time was the 1973 staff led by Vida Blue.

Emil Brown hit a home run in the sixth for Oakland. Carlos Gonzalez added an RBI single in the top of the ninth, after Mariners shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt was charged with an error for not handling a throw at second base when Seattle had Eric Patterson picked off first.

Ziegler allowed a single by Jose Lopez and a double by former Athletic Tug Hulett, and a walk to Jeff Clement loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. But Ziegler got Betancourt, the No. 9 hitter, to chop a sinker into a game-ending double play for his fourth save with Suzuki in the on-deck circle.

Ziegler has allowed only two runs in 44 innings this year, a 0.41 ERA. The lowest season ERA with a minimum of 30 innings in major league history is 0.38, by Boston's Buck O'Brien in 1911.

"I'm not going to say I wasn't thinking about Ichiro being on deck," Ziegler said. "But I know Betancourt is a better matchup for me."

On July 10, Smith shut out Seattle on four hits over six innings before Ziegler entered the seventh and loaded the bases with two outs. He got out of that mess, too, one of his closest calls en route to a modern major league record 39 scoreless innings to begin a career.

Rowland-Smith struck out six and walked three. He had a two-hit shutout with two outs in the sixth when Brown hit his first-pitch changeup for his 12th home run, clearing Oakland's bullpen bench beyond left field.

Rowland-Smith rued the pitch choice.

"I threw changeups to the hitters before that. Maybe he was thinking I'd start him off with a changeup," he said.

Plate umpire Bill Hohn called the next pitch to Frank Thomas a strike. Thomas, who had already been mad at Hohn for calling him out on strikes in the second inning -- and is on a career high-tying 0-for-19 skid -- angrily spun away from home plate and took a short walk. He was muttering without looking at the umpire when Hohn ejected him.

The veteran designated hitter then became irate and had to be separated from Hohn by manager Bob Geren. Thomas tossed his bat over his right shoulder and threw his batting helmet in the direction of the umpire as he stomped off the field.

"Just the old arguing balls and strikes, I guess," Geren said. "Frank's been around a long time, so he knows."

Smith had his 14th pickoff of the season in the fourth, after he walked and then completely fooled Wladimir Balentien. That's the most by a major league pitcher since 1997, when Andy Pettitte had 14 for the Yankees.


Oakland All-Star RHP Justin Duchscherer and RHP Sean Gallagher went on the DL retroactive to Wednesday. Geren is optimistic Duchscherer, who has inflammation on his right hip that had surgery on it last summer, will be back next month. He's not so sure about Gallagher, who has shoulder fatigue. ... Brandon Morrow, the fifth overall pick in 2006 who was converted to a starter this month, struck out 10 and walked one in 4 2/3 innings while allowing two hits and two runs for Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. The Mariners might have Morrow make one more start there before adding him to the rotation.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

G. Smith
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 3
K 1

R. Rowland-Smith
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 3
K 6

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Oakland Athletics
Mark Ellis, 2B3000110 .234
Bobby Crosby, SS4000001 .244
Emil Brown, RF3111100 .255
Frank Thomas, DH2000010 .231
   a- Rajai Davis, PH-DH1000101 .212
Kurt Suzuki, C4020001 .289
Jack Cust, LF2010111 .233
    Eric Patterson, PR-LF0100100 .200
Carlos Gonzalez, CF4011022 .253
Daric Barton, 1B4000013 .203
Cliff Pennington, 3B3000011 .125
    Jack Hannahan, 3B0000000 .222
a-walked for Thomas in the 6th
2B - Kurt Suzuki (20, Rowland-Smith)
HR - Emil Brown (12, Rowland-Smith)
RBI - Emil Brown (55), Carlos Gonzalez (22)
2-OUT RBI - Emil Brown (14)
SB - Rajai Davis (21, 2nd base off Rowland-Smith/Johjima), Eric Patterson 2 (6, 2nd base off Rowland-Smith/Johjima, 3rd base off Jimenez/Johjima)
CS - Carlos Gonzalez (1, 2nd base by Jimenez/Johjima)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Pennington-Barton, Hannahan-Barton
Oakland Athletics
Greg Smith (W,6-12) 6400310 3.75
Joey Devine (H,5) 1000000 0.88
Brad Ziegler (S,4) 2300210 0.41
IBB - Beltre by Greg Smith
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Smith 91-49, Joey Devine 14-8, Brad Ziegler 36-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Smith 10-5, Joey Devine 2-1, Brad Ziegler 4-0
Batters Faced - Greg Smith 23, Joey Devine 3, Brad Ziegler 10
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4030000 .315
Miguel Cairo, 1B3000003 .237
   a- Jeremy Reed, PH-1B1000001 .280
Raul Ibanez, LF3000113 .303
Adrian Beltre, 3B3010102 .248
Jose Lopez, 2B3010103 .294
Wladimir Balentien, CF2000101 .216
   b- Bryan LaHair, PH1000011 .279
Kenji Johjima, C3000002 .213
   c- Tug Hulett, PH1010000 .250
Jeff Clement, DH3000100 .220
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4010001 .266
a-hit into fielder's choice for Cairo in the 8th
b-struck out for Balentien in the 9th
c-doubled for Johjima in the 9th
2B - Ichiro Suzuki (14, Smith), Adrian Beltre (23, Smith), Tug Hulett (1, Ziegler)
PK - Wladimir Balentien (1, Smith)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Beltre-J. Lopez-Cairo
E - Jeremy Reed (4, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Ryan Rowland-Smith (L,2-2) 7411361 3.84
Sean Green 1.1010210 3.09
Cesar Jimenez 0.2100000 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Rowland-Smith 114-74, Sean Green 28-15, Cesar Jimenez 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Rowland-Smith 7-7, Sean Green 3-0, Cesar Jimenez 1-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Rowland-Smith 27, Sean Green 6, Cesar Jimenez 2
Game Information
Attendance - 25611
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Bill Hohn, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Delfin Colon