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Lopez (two homers) keys offense as Mariners down A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- In a season of underachievement, one of the few positives for Seattle was the consistency of Jose Lopez, dispelling any thought that he can't be an everyday contributor.

Lopez added to the best season of his young career with a pair of homers on Friday night in the Mariners' 10-8 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Lopez ignited a pair of five-run innings for Seattle, hitting a three-run shot in the third and adding a solo homer in the fifth. Coming into 2008, Lopez hoped for 15 homers, 80 RBI and 40 doubles, displaying an ability to be productive after previous up-and-down seasons.

Time for some new goals. All of those have been accomplished.

"When you play every day, every year you learn something different," Lopez said. "I wasn't looking for homers. I was looking to hit the ball hard all the time."

Rob Johnson added his first career home run and Ichiro Suzuki added another milestone to his impressive resume as the Mariners won for just the second time in the last 16 games. The win ensured that 2008 won't be the worst season in Seattle's history. That mark will remain with the 1978 team that lost 104 games, although this year's squad is the first team with a $100 million payroll to lose at least 100 games.

But Lopez is a bright spot. His two homers on Friday raised his batting average to .297, 30 points above his career average entering this season. It was his second career multihomer game.

"Power is the last thing that comes. A lot of players in their development that's the last thing that comes and I think it's coming," Seattle manager Jim Riggleman said.

Lopez's three-run shot in the third capped Seattle's first five-run inning. His homer into the Oakland bullpen just eluded the leaping glove of Oakland left fielder Travis Buck, who twice in the inning came up short diving for sinking fly balls.

After Oakland took a 6-5 lead in the top of the fifth, Lopez opened the bottom of the inning with a solo shot that also landed in the A's bullpen. He was intentionally walked in the sixth to a chorus of boos.

"He was swinging at pitches I didn't think he could get to and he did," Oakland starter Sean Gallagher said.

Johnson capped Seattle's fifth inning -- its second five-run frame -- with a two-run shot off Oakland reliever Jerry Blevins. Luis Valbuena also had three hits and an RBI for Seattle.

Suzuki matched Lou Gehrig's major league record with his eighth season of at least 200 hits and 100 runs. Suzuki scored for the 100th time in the third inning on Raul Ibanez's RBI single. With 210 hits, he achieved the 200-hit, 100-run mark for the eighth consecutive season. Gehrig reached those benchmarks in 1927-28, 1930-32, 1934 and 1936-37.

The offensive outburst made a winner of Brandon Morrow, who was all over the strike zone in his final appearance of the season. Making just his fifth start, Morrow threw a career-high 114 pitches and matched his highs with five walks and eight strike outs.

Morrow (3-4) also allowed a solo homer to Jack Cust in the second and a three-run shot to Buck with two-out in the fourth. Buck finished with four RBI. But Morrow, who made the transition to being a starter in early August, came up with key strikeouts with runners in scoring position in the second and fifth innings.

"There was just times I was really flying open out on the mound and pulling off," Morrow said. "The ball was cutting and dying and not going where I wanted."

Roy Corcoran pitched the ninth for his third save in six chances.

Gallagher (2-3) mowed through the Mariners lineup in the first two innings, only to struggle through one of the worst performances in his young career. He was tagged for 10 hits and eight earned runs, failing to finish the fifth inning after Miguel Cairo's two-out double scored Jeremy Reed to give Seattle a 7-6 lead.

Gallagher gave up a career-high 11 hits and 10 earned runs last month against Minnesota, but had settled down in his last three starts, giving up just four total runs.

"We scored eight runs," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "You get eight runs at this ballpark, you should win."

Notes

  • Gallagher is 0-6 for his career on the road. He has never won away from his home park.
  • Seattle will start RHP R.A. Dickey in Sunday's season finale. LHP Ryan Feierabend was schedule to start, but has a tender shoulder.
  • Seattle LHP Erik Bedard underwent surgery on his left shoulder Friday. The surgery revealed no tears in his labrum or rotator cuff and Bedard could be recovered before the start of the 2009 season.
 
Copyright 2014 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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It has been a disappointing season in Seattle, but Jose Lopez gives the fans something to remember. (AP)
It has been a disappointing season in Seattle, but Jose Lopez gives the fans something to remember. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

J. Lopez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
Oakland

T. Buck
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
 
Oakland Athletics
Travis Buck, LF5124012 .207
Cliff Pennington, 2B3000221 .242
Ryan Sweeney, RF4210112 .288
Jack Cust, DH5111033 .231
Kurt Suzuki, C5011011 .278
Carlos Gonzalez, CF4111110 .243
Bobby Crosby, SS3100123 .239
Daric Barton, 1B3220102 .221
Jeff Baisley, 3B4011003 .297
Totals36898611  
Batting
2B - Travis Buck (8, Lowe), Ryan Sweeney (18, Corcoran), Daric Barton (16, Lowe)
HR - Travis Buck (6, Morrow), Jack Cust (33, Morrow)
RBI - Travis Buck 4 (23), Jack Cust (76), Kurt Suzuki (42), Carlos Gonzalez (26), Jeff Baisley (5)
2-OUT RBI - Travis Buck 4 (8), Jeff Baisley (3)
Team LOB - 7
Oakland Athletics
Sean Gallagher (L,5-7) 4.21088142 5.15
Jerry Blevins 0.1222001 3.19
Gio Gonzalez 3200140 7.68
IBB - J. Lopez by Gio Gonzalez
Pitches-Strikes - Sean Gallagher 95-64, Jerry Blevins 9-6, Gio Gonzalez 47-29
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Gallagher 4-6, Gio Gonzalez 2-2
Batters Faced - Sean Gallagher 25, Jerry Blevins 3, Gio Gonzalez 11
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5111021 .310
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS5120011 .274
Raul Ibanez, LF5111021 .297
Jose Lopez, 1B3224100 .297
Jeremy Reed, CF2110100 .269
   a- Wladimir Balentien, PH-CF1000001 .200
Tug Hulett, DH4010021 .224
Miguel Cairo, 3B4111012 .248
Luis Valbuena, 2B4231000 .244
Rob Johnson, C4122002 .160
Totals3710141028  
a-flied out for Reed in the 6th
Batting
2B - Yuniesky Betancourt (35, G. Gonzalez), Miguel Cairo (14, Gallagher), Luis Valbuena (5, Gallagher)
HR - Jose Lopez 2 (17, Gallagher, Gallagher), Rob Johnson (1, Blevins)
RBI - Ichiro Suzuki (42), Raul Ibanez (109), Jose Lopez 4 (89), Miguel Cairo (21), Luis Valbuena (1), Rob Johnson 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Ichiro Suzuki (12), Raul Ibanez (35), Jose Lopez 3 (40), Miguel Cairo (6), Luis Valbuena (1), Rob Johnson 2 (2)
CS - Yuniesky Betancourt (3, 3rd base by G. Gonzalez/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 5
Seattle Mariners
Brandon Morrow (W,3-4) 5666582 3.34
Mark Lowe 3211130 5.37
Roy Corcoran (S,3) 1111000 3.30
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 114-64, Mark Lowe 50-33, Roy Corcoran 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 2-5, Mark Lowe 1-5, Roy Corcoran 3-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 26, Mark Lowe 12, Roy Corcoran 4
Game Information
Attendance - 24662
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Jerry Crawford, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Tom Hallion