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Oakland at Seattle

Scoreboard
Oakland (55-69)000001000150
Seattle (64-61) «00102000x390

Griffey's 625th career home run powers M's past A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- With his mom in town for a rare visit, Ken Griffey Jr. had to come up with a little something special.

Career home run No. 625 worked just fine.

Griffey hit a two-run drive off Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro in the fifth inning, and Seattle opened a key 10-game homestand with a 3-1 victory against the Athletics on Monday night.

Moments after Jose Lopez was plunked on the hip by Mazzaro's fastball, the young righty tried to sneak a 1-1 fastball past the aging slugger.

Griffey, instead, made Mazzaro his 403rd home run victim in his 21st season, hitting a 384-foot shot into the right-center field seats for his 14th home run of the season and his second in two games.

  Mariners: Ichiro sits out with calf strain | Beltre begins recovery

It was the first time Griffey has connected in back-to-back games since Sept. 23 and 24 of last season while with the Chicago White Sox.

"She doesn't get to see too many games live," Griffey said about his mom, Birdie, whom he pointed to after crossing home plate to give Seattle a 3-0 lead. "She's going to take credit for that one."

Lopez hit his career-high 18th home run in the third inning, a solo shot and his third home run in the past five games. Seattle has now connected in eight consecutive games, its longest such streak in nearly three seasons.

Playing without right fielder Ichiro Suzuki for the first time since April 14, the Mariners started off their long homestand with solid pitching from Ian Snell and Griffey's long ball that brought the small crowd to its feet.

Suzuki missed this game with tightness in his left calf that flared up Sunday during a loss in Cleveland. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu expects Suzuki to rest on Tuesday and hopes to get him back in the lineup Wednesday.

Franklin Gutierrez filled in for Suzuki in the leadoff spot and had three hits, while Bill Hall took Suzuki's spot in right field, as Seattle stayed on the fringes of the AL wild card race 7½ games behind Boston.

They stayed there largely because of Snell, who is finding a bit of comfort in the American League following his trade from Pittsburgh just before the July 31 trade deadline. Snell (2-1) kept Oakland hitless into the fifth inning, before Daric Barton got the A's on the board with a chopping single up the middle that eluded diving shortstop Jack Wilson.

"We were in the dugout just shaking our heads like 'this guy is unhittable.' It was just one of those days," Oakland's Jack Cust said.

Oakland got a run back in the sixth on Kurt Suzuki's two-out RBI single to score Mark Ellis, but Snell avoided the big inning by getting Ryan Sweeney on a groundout.

It was the only inning in which Oakland threatened against the right-hander, who won his second straight with the Mariners, pitching six innings and giving up four hits and one earned run, almost an identical line to his last start in Detroit, another 3-1 victory.

"It was hard for me to get accustomed to the league, but now I'm getting use to it," Snell said. "And I'm using my other pitches than my fastball now and it's throwing hitters off and helping out now."

Sean White pitched two perfect innings of relief. Seattle closer David Aardsma, who had blown two of his previous three save opportunities, gave up a leadoff double to Cust in the ninth. But he retired the next three batters, including a strikeout of Landon Powell to finish off his 29th save in 33 chances.

Mazzaro (4-9) lost eight consecutive decisions at one point during his rookie season, but had won his previous two. He struggled from the start, and Seattle's inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position was the only reason the game didn't get out of hand. The Mariners loaded the bases in the first and fourth innings and had two runners on in the second and failed to score each time.

Mazzaro gave up five hits, walked four and struck out four.

Notes

  • David Cook, winner of the seventh season of American Idol, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
  • Oakland OF Rajai Davis got the day off after his right thumb was hit Sunday as he attempted a bunt in a victory against Detroit. Davis got X-rays at the stadium Monday night, manager Bob Geren said, but results were unavailable after the game.
  • Wilson played for the first time since Aug. 12 when he had to leave in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox with a pulled hamstring.
 
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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Ken Griffey Jr. and Jose Lopez each go deep for Seattle. For the Kid, it's career homer No. 625.  (AP)
Ken Griffey Jr. and Jose Lopez each go deep for Seattle. For the Kid, it's career homer No. 625. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

K. Griffey
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Seattle

J. Lopez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Oakland Athletics
Adam Kennedy, 3B3010100 .281
Mark Ellis, 2B4100003 .274
Scott Hairston, LF4000001 .278
Jack Cust, RF4020010 .243
Kurt Suzuki, C4011001 .276
Ryan Sweeney, CF4000003 .272
Landon Powell, DH4000011 .245
Daric Barton, 1B2010110 .178
Cliff Pennington, SS3000012 .263
Totals3215124  
Batting
2B - Jack Cust (13, Aardsma)
RBI - Kurt Suzuki (57)
2-OUT RBI - Kurt Suzuki (21)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Ellis-Pennington-Barton
Oakland Athletics
Vin Mazzaro (L,4-9) 5533442 5.32
Jeff Gray 1.2300000 0.87
Jay Marshall 1.1100000 6.75
HBP - Griffey (by Vin Mazzaro), J. Lopez (by Vin Mazzaro)
Pitches-Strikes - Vin Mazzaro 99-55, Jeff Gray 31-20, Jay Marshall 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vin Mazzaro 6-4, Jeff Gray 1-4, Jay Marshall 1-3
Batters Faced - Vin Mazzaro 25, Jeff Gray 8, Jay Marshall 5
Seattle Mariners
Franklin Gutierrez, CF4030100 .289
Russell Branyan, 1B5000015 .251
Jose Lopez, 2B3221000 .273
Ken Griffey Jr., DH3122000 .225
Bill Hall, RF3010120 .212
Kenji Johjima, C4000005 .237
Jack Hannahan, 3B3000102 .213
Jack Wilson, SS4000010 .257
Michael Saunders, LF3010100 .253
Totals3239344  
Batting
2B - Jose Lopez (33, Mazzaro)
HR - Jose Lopez (18, Mazzaro), Ken Griffey Jr. (14, Mazzaro)
RBI - Jose Lopez (76), Ken Griffey Jr. 2 (43)
Team LOB - 11
Seattle Mariners
Ian Snell (W,4-9) 6411220 5.37
Sean White (H,14) 2000010 2.84
David Aardsma (S,29) 1100010 2.38
WP - Ian Snell (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 99-60, Sean White 23-16, David Aardsma 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 7-9, Sean White 3-2
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 24, Sean White 6, David Aardsma 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21056
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Shawn Rakos