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Langerhans' walk-off blast in 10th propels Mariners past A's

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Mariners defensive replacement Ryan Langerhans was preparing to bat in the bottom of the 10th inning Tuesday night when veteran teammate Mike Sweeney gave him an unsolicited pep talk.

"C'mon, man! Just pop the tape in the VCR and hit play!" the former Oakland Athletic said to Langerhans.

Langerhans channeled the vision of his last big hit in a similar situation, then nailed a pitch from Oakland's Craig Breslow for his second game-ending home run as a late-game substitute in three weeks that sent scrappy Seattle to a 4-2 victory against the Athletics.

Franklin Gutierrez's singled with one out in the 10th off Breslow (5-7), who is tied for the most losses among major league relievers. It was Gutierrez's fifth hit and seventh time on base in the two games he has been leading off while Ichiro Suzuki rests a tight calf muscle.

Then Langerhans, who entered for defense the inning before, smacked a 2-2 pitch into the first row of seats beyond right field. His winning home run landed in almost the same spot as his two-run shot in the 11th inning on Aug. 7, when he entered in the seventh inning and then beat Tampa Bay.

Guess who was the first to meet Langerhans screaming "I told you so!" amid his latest mobbing at home plate. Yep, Sweeney's grin was as big as his advice.

"When I crossed the plate, he was beaming," said Langerhans, who spent two games with Oakland in 2007 between stints with Atlanta and Washington.

Mark Lowe (2-6) pitched the 10th for the victory that kept Seattle on the fringes of the AL wild-card race at 7½ games out.

Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. got the small, quiet crowd on its feet during a pinch-hitting appearance with a man on and one out in the eighth against Michael Wuertz. Griffey was 4 for 6 with two home runs against him, but the 39-year-old slugger struck out waving over a 2-2 pitch in the dirt.

Gutierrez stole second on that pitch. Then Jose Lopez chopped a ball to the right of charging third baseman Adam Kennedy. Gutierrez slowed his run to third, veered onto the infield grass and almost looped around the ball. It clanged off Kennedy's glove and kicked away for a game-tying error.

"I got an in-between hop and just missed it," Kennedy said while claiming he didn't notice Gutierrez.

Griffey's cameo had another affect: It took third baseman Jack Hannahan out of the game, moved versatile Bill Hall from right field to third base, and got Langerhans into right field.

"I mean, he's our secret weapon," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said of the reserve acquired from the Nationals two months ago.

Last week's trade for Hall has already led to at least one victory for the Mariners. Wakamatsu admitted he wouldn't have even made the move to insert Langerhans a week ago, before his team acquired Hall from Milwaukee for a minor leaguer. The Mariners currently have only four outfielders with Suzuki out. Hall is the only one who can also play infield.

Kennedy's single that scored Mark Ellis in the seventh inning had put Oakland up 2-1. That was the last pitch thrown by Seattle starter Ryan Rowland-Smith, who allowed nine hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings.

A's rookie Brett Anderson allowed one run and six hits with eight strikeouts in seven impressive innings. The 21-year-old left-hander, Oakland's centerpiece in the trade that sent Dan Haren to Arizona following the 2007 season, leads major league rookies with 117 strikeouts.

"The kid's 21 years old, and he's awfully impressive," said Wakamatsu, Oakland's bench coach last year.

Notes

  • Wakamatsu had hoped to have Suzuki back Wednesday, but now says it could be Thursday or later.
  • Seattle 1B Russell Branyan tied it at 1 in the second with his 31st home run. Branyan extended his career high in home runs and ended an 0-for-13 skid since he last home run on Saturday in Cleveland.
  • A's 3B Eric Chavez, who had season-ending surgery in June, is in Seattle getting his back treated and sat with his team in the dugout Monday. Manager Bob Geren said the six-time Gold Glove winner looks "really good" and strong and that he is planning to resume baseball activities in January, "if not before."
 
Copyright 2015 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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Ryan Langerhans is congratulated by Jack Wilson and Mike Sweeney after hitting the game-winning homer. (AP)
Ryan Langerhans is congratulated by Jack Wilson and Mike Sweeney after hitting the game-winning homer. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

F. Gutierrez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Oakland

S. Hairston
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
Adam Kennedy, 3B5011020 .280
Rajai Davis, CF5000001 .287
Kurt Suzuki, C5110003 .275
Scott Hairston, LF5021000 .280
Jack Cust, DH4010011 .243
Nomar Garciaparra, 1B4010003 .266
Mark Ellis, 2B4120011 .278
Ryan Sweeney, RF4010002 .271
Cliff Pennington, SS4010002 .263
Totals40210204  
Batting
2B - Kurt Suzuki (29, Rowland-Smith), Mark Ellis (18, Rowland-Smith)
RBI - Adam Kennedy (47), Scott Hairston (51)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Hairston (21)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Pennington-Ellis-Garciaparra
E - Adam Kennedy (10, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Brett Anderson 7611181 4.35
Michael Wuertz (BS,2) 1010130 3.23
Craig Breslow (L,5-7) 1.1222121 4.14
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Anderson 106-67, Michael Wuertz 27-14, Craig Breslow 30-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Anderson 4-7, Michael Wuertz 1-0
Batters Faced - Brett Anderson 26, Michael Wuertz 5, Craig Breslow 7
Seattle Mariners
Franklin Gutierrez, CF4220101 .291
Jack Hannahan, 3B3010000 .215
   a- Ken Griffey Jr., PH1000010 .224
    Ryan Langerhans, RF1112000 .221
Jose Lopez, 2B4000001 .271
Mike Sweeney, DH4010012 .249
Bill Hall, RF-3B4000031 .209
Russell Branyan, 1B3111110 .251
Kenji Johjima, C3000131 .233
Jack Wilson, SS4010022 .257
Michael Saunders, LF4010021 .253
Totals35483313  
a-struck out for Hannahan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mike Sweeney (12, Anderson)
HR - Ryan Langerhans (3, Breslow), Russell Branyan (31, Anderson)
RBI - Ryan Langerhans 2 (9), Russell Branyan (76)
2-OUT RBI - Russell Branyan (23)
SB - Franklin Gutierrez (10, 2nd base off Wuertz/Suzuki), Jose Lopez (3, 2nd base off Wuertz/Suzuki)
CS - Michael Saunders (1, 2nd base by Anderson/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 6
Seattle Mariners
Ryan Rowland-Smith 6.1922010 4.05
Shawn Kelley 1.2100020 3.78
David Aardsma 1000010 2.34
Mark Lowe (W,2-6) 1000000 3.18
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Rowland-Smith 98-65, Shawn Kelley 29-23, David Aardsma 14-11, Mark Lowe 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Rowland-Smith 7-11, Shawn Kelley 1-2, David Aardsma 1-1, Mark Lowe 1-2
Batters Faced - Ryan Rowland-Smith 28, Shawn Kelley 6, David Aardsma 3, Mark Lowe 3
Game Information
Attendance - 17661
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Marty Foster