Oakland at Seattle

W: J. Vargas (1-1) L: C. Gaudin (0-1)
S: D. Aardsma (4)
HR: OAK - J. Fox (1)   SEA - None

Mariners 4, Athletics 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- This was the kind of 1-2 pitching punch the Seattle Mariners expected.

Just not from guys named Fister and Vargas.

Jason Vargas threw six innings for Seattle, and Milton Bradley and Franklin Gutierrez came through with bat-shattering run scoring hits in the Mariners 4-2 victory against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

A day after Doug Fister tossed eight scoreless innings, Vargas did his part as the back of the Mariners rotation gave Seattle its first series victory of the young season.

"He's got great poise on that mound," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He makes one mistake early giving up a home run to center field, but he battled and fought back."

Vargas (1-1) might be a placeholder until Cliff Lee returns from the disabled list and gives Seattle arguably the best Nos. 1 and 2 starters in the American League with Felix Hernandez.

Until then, though, Vargas and Fister have so far been just fine.

Vargas' only mistake was a middle-of-the-zone fastball that Jake Fox hit for a two-run homer to center in the second inning -- a ball Gutierrez felt he could have robbed if he hadn't been playing so shallow. The home run was Fox's first of the season, snapping an 0-for-11 streak.

Otherwise, Vargas scattered five hits, struck out six and walked none. He set down nine of the final 10 batters he faced, and Seattle starters have now gone 14 innings without allowing a walk.

Vargas started using a cut fastball again on Wednesday, a pitch he shelved last year as he recovered from hip surgery in favor of gaining better control of his breaking ball.

"For me to be able to go back to it didn't take a whole lot of time," Vargas said. "A couple of bullpen sessions with it and tonight was really the first time we used it."

Seattle reliever Brandon League worked a scoreless seventh and eighth innings and David Aardsma converted his fourth save -- he has closed all of Seattle's victories -- with a perfect ninth. Aardsma has converted 14 consecutive saves since last August.

Oakland got only one baserunner after the fourth inning.

"Last night I thought [Fister] really located well, pitched well," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "Today, I thought we had some opportunities where we didn't hit the pitches we should have hit."

As well as Vargas threw, he was left looking for a little offensive help until the Mariners bats started coming up with clutch, two-out hits.

Bradley was first. Down 2-0 in the fifth, he dumped the first pitch from Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez into left field, sending his bat barrel nearly to third base. The hit scored two and Gutierrez's hit an inning later scored Adam Moore with the go-ahead run.

Bradley, on his eighth big league team, finally made a mark with the Mariners on Tuesday night with a game-winning three-run homer in the eighth inning. But he was drawing the ire of fans after just one at-bat on Wednesday.

Bradley rounded third too far after Moore's infield hit in the second and was tagged out during a rundown between third and home for the Mariners' second base-running blunder of the inning.

The cheers were back a few innings later. Seattle loaded the bases on an infield single by Ichiro Suzuki and walks to Chone Figgins and Gutierrez. Jose Lopez fouled out behind third, but Bradley muscled Gonzalez's first offering into left.

An inning later, Moore led off with a single and moved to second on Figgins' two-out walk off reliever Chad Gaudin (0-1). Gutierrez's single to left was picked clean by Eric Patterson, but he bobbled getting the ball from his glove and the lumbering Moore beat the throw home. Lopez then followed with another single to score Figgins.

"These guys are playing hard and the key was after those two baserunning mistakes they didn't give up and kept playing hard and played a good ball game," Wakamatsu said.


Suzuki snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a 45-foot dribbler up the first-base line in the fifth inning. ... Seattle swapped starters for the weekend, pushing RHP Ian Snell back to Sunday and moving LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith to Saturday. Snell has been out of town after a death in his family. ... Oakland INF Mark Ellis missed his third consecutive game with a strained hamstring, but Geren said he is improving. ... The crowd of 15,978 was second-smallest in Safeco Field history.

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

M. Bradley
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0

J. Fox
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Oakland Athletics
Rajai Davis, CF4000001 .227
Daric Barton, 1B4010001 .333
Kurt Suzuki, C4010011 .200
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4110021 .256
Jake Fox, DH4112011 .067
Adam Rosales, 2B3010000 .364
Gabe Gross, RF3000012 .222
Eric Patterson, LF3000030 .000
Cliff Pennington, SS2000110 .226
HR - Jake Fox (1, Vargas)
RBI - Jake Fox 2 (2)
CS - Daric Barton (1, 2nd base by Vargas/Moore)
Team LOB - 3
Oakland Athletics
Gio Gonzalez 4.2622450 3.38
Chad Gaudin (L,0-1) 1.1322230 4.91
Edwar Ramirez 2200030 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 98-55, Chad Gaudin 39-20, Edwar Ramirez 30-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 5-3, Chad Gaudin 1-0
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 23, Chad Gaudin 9, Edwar Ramirez 8
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5120011 .244
Chone Figgins, 2B3210221 .278
Franklin Gutierrez, CF4021111 .385
Jose Lopez, 3B4021115 .275
Milton Bradley, DH4012023 .133
Eric Byrnes, LF2000211 .100
Matt Tuiasosopo, 1B4010025 .333
Adam Moore, C4120004 .125
Jack Wilson, SS3000010 .188
2B - Jose Lopez (1, G. Gonzalez)
SH - Jack Wilson (2)
RBI - Franklin Gutierrez (3), Jose Lopez (1), Milton Bradley 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Franklin Gutierrez (2), Jose Lopez (1), Milton Bradley 2 (4)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Moore-Figgins
Seattle Mariners
Jason Vargas (W,1-1) 6522061 5.56
Brandon League (H,1) 2000120 3.18
David Aardsma (S,4) 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 89-56, Brandon League 31-18, David Aardsma 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 2-9, Brandon League 1-3, David Aardsma 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 22, Brandon League 7, David Aardsma 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15978
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Jerry Meals