Oakland at Seattle

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Oakland (6-3)000000000031
Seattle (3-6) «00000003x391

M's Bradley breaks scoreless tie with decisive three-run jack

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- From slumping slugger to would-be bunter to restored basher and recipient of a cold, celebratory beer shower -- all in mere minutes. Milton Bradley finally got his true welcome to the Seattle Mariners.

And baseball's self-proclaimed bad boy loved it.

"Just having fun. That's all they've been doing since I got here. It's a welcome change," Bradley said of his eighth team in 11 major league seasons dousing him in suds late Tuesday night.

Bradley was the life of the Seattle's party after hitting a three-run homer in the eighth inning to power his new team to a much-needed 3-0 victory against the Oakland Athletics.

"A great night for Milton," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "That couldn't have been better timed."

Bradley began the day in a 1-for-22 rut. His team of high expectations was 2-6 and hadn't scored in 20 innings before he went deep.

It was the 31-year-old's first home run to give his team a lead in the seventh inning or later since Sept. 22, 2006, when he was with the A's.

A few days ago, Wakamatsu sat Bradley down after the mercurial left fielder flipped off fans during the fourth inning Friday night at Texas. The manager said Bradley "opened up" to him that he was feeling pressure to carry his new teammates as their cleanup hitter.

Wakamatsu told Bradley to "rely on us" more. He also lessened some of the burden by moving Bradley down two spots in the batting order.

Jose Lopez started the decisive rally with his third hit. Then Brad Ziegler (0-2) walked Mike Sweeney. Bradley showed bunt on the first, low pitch -- his idea.

Ziegler wasn't buying it.

"They didn't [trade for] him to move runners over in the eighth inning," he said.

After the bunt show, Wakamatsu motioned to Bradley from the dugout to wait for a pitch higher toward the strike zone "and whack it."

"He listened to me," Wakamatsu said with wry smile.

Two pitches later, Bradley golfed Ziegler's low fastball five rows into the right-field bleachers. As he stepped on home plate following his second home run of the season, Bradley raised both hands above his head. He pressed his palms together and jabbed them toward the sky.

"Don't read anything into that. That's personal," Bradley said of the celebration.

"If you keep working hard, talent is going to surpass bad luck."

Doug Fister (1-1) threw eight crisp innings for the Mariners, allowing three hits and walking one. It was the longest outing in the majors for the 26-year-old right-hander, who began last season as a Double-A reliever. It was also the longest outing this season for a Seattle rotation that has struggled without injured left-hander Cliff Lee.

David Aardsma finished the three-hitter for his third save in three chances. Bradley went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .115.

Brett Anderson struck out six in six innings for Oakland, allowing six hits and walking two. He hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings over two starts this season, both against Seattle.

The Mariners left runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings before Bradley came through against one of his seven former teams.

"We needed one thing to spark us," Fister said. "That's what tonight was. We just needed a little momentum, and that's what we've got."

Notes

  • Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair said Lee (strained abdomen) looked great during a 63-pitch bullpen session. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner is expected to make his season debut May 1 or 2, pending Wednesday's hearing on his appeal of a five-game suspension for throwing over the head of Arizona's Chris Snyder in a spring game.
  • A's manager Bob Geren said he was hopeful 2B Mark Ellis would play Wednesday. Ellis missed the first two games of the series with a hamstring strain from Sunday's game at the Los Angeles Angels.
 
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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Milton Bradley not only ends a 1-for-22 slump with his clutch homer, he also receives top-notch gratitude.  (AP)
Milton Bradley not only ends a 1-for-22 slump with his clutch homer, he also receives top-notch gratitude. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

M. Bradley
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Seattle

D. Fister
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 0
K 4
 

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Oakland Athletics
Rajai Davis, CF4000001 .250
Daric Barton, 1B3010110 .346
Ryan Sweeney, RF4010002 .297
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3000102 .257
Kurt Suzuki, C4010001 .194
Eric Chavez, DH3000021 .200
Adam Rosales, 2B3000010 .375
Travis Buck, LF2000001 .174
Cliff Pennington, SS3000001 .241
Totals2903024  
Batting
SH - Travis Buck (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Rosales-Pennington-Barton
E - Cliff Pennington (2, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Brett Anderson 6600260 0.00
Craig Breslow 0.1100010 3.86
Brad Ziegler (L,0-2) 1233101 6.23
Chad Gaudin 0.2000020 0.00
HBP - Johnson (by Brett Anderson)
WP - Brett Anderson (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Anderson 107-64, Craig Breslow 9-6, Brad Ziegler 19-8, Chad Gaudin 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Anderson 7-5, Brad Ziegler 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Anderson 27, Craig Breslow 2, Brad Ziegler 5, Chad Gaudin 2
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4000020 .222
Chone Figgins, 2B4030000 .273
Franklin Gutierrez, CF4000011 .371
Jose Lopez, 3B4130012 .250
Mike Sweeney, DH2000202 .111
    Eric Byrnes, PR-DH0100000 .125
Milton Bradley, LF4123002 .115
Casey Kotchman, 1B3010112 .214
Rob Johnson, C3000034 .143
Jack Wilson, SS4000012 .207
Totals3239339  
Batting
2B - Chone Figgins 2 (3, Anderson, Breslow), Milton Bradley (1, Anderson)
HR - Milton Bradley (2, Ziegler)
RBI - Milton Bradley 3 (5)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - J. Lopez-Figgins-Kotchman, J. Wilson-Figgins-Kotchman
E - Jose Lopez (1, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Doug Fister (W,1-1) 8300040 1.50
David Aardsma (S,3) 1000200 0.00
WP - Doug Fister (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 100-71, David Aardsma 15-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 12-9, David Aardsma 1-1
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 28, David Aardsma 4
Game Information
Attendance - 18043
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott