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Mariners turn triple play, top A's in new manager's debut

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Daren Brown began his Monday boarding a 6:30 a.m. flight in Omaha, headed to manage the sunken Mariners.

The 43-year-old ended it by dutifully climbing into a laundry bin in Seattle and being rolled down a hallway by closer David Aardsma into his first major-league beer shower. He looked like an oversized baby in a stroller, smiling with his feet dangling over the front edge and arms over the sides.

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He celebrated like a man who had finally made it to the big leagues after 1,485 games managing in the minors -- and won.

"I told them I would do it," a grinning Brown said of submitting to the suds.

Last-place Seattle welcomed its new interim manager by getting its first triple play in 15 years in a 3-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics, on a night that was far more efficient and successful than the ones that got Don Wakamatsu fired hours earlier.

"If I was going to sit down and draw it up, that's how I would have done it," Brown said in his Oklahoman drawl, after moving up from Triple-A Tacoma earlier Monday.

He got the game ball from center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who caught the final out. It will be the first souvenir for Brown's new office, which was empty after Wakamatsu was forced to clear it out following one good season and about half a terrible one.

Brown became the 10th of Seattle's 17 managers to win their first game. Only one of the other 16 finished his Mariners tenure with a winning record: Lou Piniella.

Oakland remained flailing in the clutch while sliding back to eight games behind idle and first-place Texas in the AL West.

"It's definitely a frustrating loss, especially after seeing our friend get fired from that team," A's second baseman Mark Ellis said of Wakamatsu, Oakland's bench coach in 2008 who still keeps in regular contact with many A's players.

Brown, a 10-year veteran of Seattle's system, is the team's sixth manager in the eight seasons since Piniella left in 2002. He said he got word the Mariners were promoting him at 11:30 Central time Sunday night, following Tacoma's 12-inning victory at Omaha.

"Uh, I'm pretty tired," Brown said.

Aardsma didn't care. He said Brown was still due a traditional postgame celebration.

"It's sad to see 'Wak' go. We played ourselves into that position," Aardsma said after his 21st save in 25 chances. "But we got to start anew with 'Brownie.' "

"Brownie" looked tired while hanging on the padded dugout railing early on. But he and the rest of the 19,943 attending were awakened in the top of the fourth by Seattle's first triple play since July 13, 1995, against Toronto.

"I'd say we were due," Brown said dryly employing "we" with the Mariners for the first time.

Jose Lopez took a chopper by Ellis and immediately stepped on third base for a forceout. Lopez then threw to second base for a forceout there and Chone Figgins' throw to first baseman Casey Kotchman appeared to arrive at the same time as Ellis' foot hit the bag, but first base umpire Cory Blaser called Ellis out.

Ellis argued the call to no avail. Seattle's lead remained 2-0 -- and Oakland's string of consecutive hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position stayed on its way to 35.

The 5-4-3 play was the 10th triple putout for the Mariners, who began play in 1977. Doug Fister, Seattle's 26-year-old starter, said it was the first time he had ever been part of a triple play, dating through Little League.

RBI singles by Lopez and Franklin Gutierrez with two out in the first off Vin Mazzaro (6-4) gave Fister (4-8) and relievers Sean White, Brandon League and Aardsma all the runs they needed.

Fister won for the first time in eight decisions and 12 starts, since May 14. He allowed seven hits and one run in six innings. He walked one and struck out five. Oakland's only damage off him was a single by Coco Crisp and a double by Rajai Davis to begin the sixth.

Seattle pitchers retired the final 12 A's batters to end it.

Touted outfielder Chris Carter became the last of Oakland's haul of six prospects received in the Dan Haren trade a couple of years ago to reach the major leagues. Carter went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his debut.

Notes
  • Mariners starting SS Jack Wilson (broken hand) is scheduled for surgery Wednesday and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
  • The A's placed OF Matt Watson on the 15-day disabled list and optioned OF Matt Carson to Triple-A Sacramento. Besides Carter, Oakland also recalled 1B Jeff Larish from Sacramento in time to start the game. Manager Bob Geren said Watson had a procedure Monday morning to remove a kidney stone.
 
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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Chone Figgins gets the out at second before going to first to complete the M's first triple play in 15 years. (AP)
Chone Figgins gets the out at second before going to first to complete the M's first triple play in 15 years. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

F. Gutierrez
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Oakland

V. Mazzaro
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 3
BB 2
K 5
 

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Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4120001 .264
Rajai Davis, RF4011012 .278
Kurt Suzuki, C4000002 .254
Jack Cust, DH4020021 .287
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3000102 .268
Mark Ellis, 2B3010012 .259
Chris Carter, LF3000022 .000
Jeff Larish, 1B3000012 .154
Cliff Pennington, SS3010000 .260
Totals3117117  
Batting
2B - Rajai Davis (20, Fister), Cliff Pennington (18, Fister)
RBI - Rajai Davis (37)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Coco Crisp 1
E - Kevin Kouzmanoff (10, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Vin Mazzaro (L,6-4) 7533250 3.86
Jerry Blevins 0.1100000 3.65
Henry Rodriguez 0.2000010 4.76
WP - Henry Rodriguez (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Vin Mazzaro 113-69, Jerry Blevins 3-2, Henry Rodriguez 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vin Mazzaro 11-6, Jerry Blevins 1-0
Batters Faced - Vin Mazzaro 29, Jerry Blevins 2, Henry Rodriguez 2
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4010001 .311
Chone Figgins, 2B4010001 .254
Casey Kotchman, 1B4100002 .212
Russell Branyan, DH3110111 .243
    Michael Saunders, PR-DH0000000 .234
Jose Lopez, 3B4011002 .239
Franklin Gutierrez, CF3111121 .246
Ryan Langerhans, LF2010012 .214
Adam Moore, C3000002 .169
Josh Wilson, SS2001020 .253
Totals2936326  
Batting
SF - Josh Wilson (1)
SH - Ryan Langerhans (1)
RBI - Jose Lopez (45), Franklin Gutierrez (46), Josh Wilson (17)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Lopez (19), Franklin Gutierrez (13)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Wilson-Figgins-Kotchman
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Doug Fister (W,4-8) 6711150 3.86
Sean White (H,3) 1000010 5.27
Brandon League (H,9) 1000000 3.10
David Aardsma (S,21) 1000010 4.34
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 91-64, Sean White 10-7, Brandon League 10-7, David Aardsma 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 8-2, Sean White 1-1, Brandon League 2-1
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 23, Sean White 3, Brandon League 3, David Aardsma 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19943
Game Time - 2:16
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Cory Blaser, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott