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Seattle at Oakland

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Seattle (75-63) «000000200280
Oakland (79-60)000100000131

Seager, Hart homer to rally Mariners past A's, 2-1

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) If the Seattle Mariners can get into the AL wild card game against Jon Lester and the Oakland Athletics, they'll be plenty confident with King Felix on the mound.

Kyle Seager and Corey Hart homered leading off the seventh inning to back Felix Hernandez's stellar start, and the Mariners rallied to beat the A's 2-1 on Wednesday to win the three-game series between playoff contenders.

''I think we match up well,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''We've got a few bullets to throw at them that toe the rubber. We like our chances.''

McClendon and the Mariners were in a light-hearted mood after the victory.

The manager pointed out that Hernandez looked well rested despite his much-maligned move to push his ace back a day before his last start against the Washington Nationals - which was Hernandez's worst outing of the season - by referencing a profanity-laced quote from former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight.

McClendon could crack jokes mostly because of the homers that erased an otherwise brilliant performance by Lester (13-10) and helped Hernandez (14-5) win for the first time in four outings.

Adam Dunn's homer in the fourth accounted for the only run Hernandez allowed in eight innings. The right-hander gave up three hits, struck out four and walked two to outduel Lester in a matchup of two of the AL's best pitchers.

The Mariners tagged Lester for seven hits in eight innings. Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth for his 41st save in 44 chances.

''It was special,'' said Hernandez, adding that he promised his wife a win for her birthday. ''We came here to win the series and that's what we did.''

Hernandez improved to 19-7 against Oakland, including 4-0 in five starts this season. He said he's just happy to finally be pitching in a playoff race.

''It feels great. It feels really good. It's fun to do that,'' he said.

The A's have lost seven of nine, including a four-game series at the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels before dropping two of three to Seattle at the Coliseum. The Mariners remain right behind Detroit and Oakland in the chase for the AL's two wild cards.

And for most of the sun-splashed afternoon, it looked like a possible preview for that game.

Hernandez, who allowed a career-high four home runs in his last start against the Washington Nationals, returned to his dominant ways for all but one pitch. It was Dunn's second homer in three days since being traded from the Chicago White Sox, his 22nd this season and 462nd of his career, tying him with former A's slugger Jose Canseco for 34th in major league history.

Lester looked to be in his All-Star form, scattering hits and keeping batters off balance, but Seattle changed that on the left-hander's first three pitches of the seventh.

Seager and Hart hit back-to-back homers to give the Mariners the lead. It was Seager's 22nd home run this season, tying a career high, and Hart's fifth.

''Two mistakes, two solo homers,'' Lester said. ''Nothing else really to talk about as far as the game went for me.''

INJURED VOGT: A's first baseman Stephen Vogt was replaced in the seventh after spraining his left ankle, which he injured sliding into second on a failed hit-and-run in the fifth. Vogt said X-rays were negative and he's hoping he's only out a few days.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: Chris Young, chased Monday after getting just two outs in the shortest outing of his career, threw a bullpen session and felt fine. Manager Lloyd McClendon will decide Thursday whether the 35-year-old right-hander will make his next start Saturday.

Athletics: CF Coco Crisp felt better after receiving trigger-point injections Wednesday to help relieve tightness and pain in his neck. He could return to the lineup Friday. ... Reliever Sean Doolittle (strained right intercostal) played long toss. He will take Thursday off and resume his rehab Friday. ... INF Nick Punto (hamstring) got a cortisone shot earlier in the week and will try running sprints Friday.

UP NEXT

Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias (9-12, 3.97 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series at Texas on Thursday. He's 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts against the Rangers.

Athletics: After an off day Thursday, RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 3.57 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against Houston. He has gone eight innings in his last two starts.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Oakland

J. Lester
IP 8.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 0
K 5
Seattle

F. Hernandez
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 4
 
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Austin Jackson, CF4000012.269.323.375
Chris Denorfia, LF4000000.235.282.308
Robinson Cano, 2B4010010.321.387.461
Kendrys Morales, 1B4000010.224.266.322
   Justin Smoak, 1B0000000.205.275.347
Kyle Seager, 3B4131002.278.344.479
Corey Hart, DH4111021.204.278.327
Mike Zunino, C4010001.199.254.404
Stefen Romero, RF3010011.199.242.310
   James Jones, PR-RF0000000.253.282.306
Chris Taylor, SS3010002.311.376.389
Felix Hernandez, P0000000.000.000.000
   Fernando Rodney, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3428206    
Batting
2B - Robinson Cano (31, Lester), Kyle Seager (27, Lester), Chris Taylor (7, Lester)
HR - Kyle Seager (22, Lester), Corey Hart (6, Lester)
RBI - Kyle Seager (85), Corey Hart (21)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Zunino-Taylor
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Felix Hernandez (W,14-5) 8311241 2.18
Fernando Rodney (S,41) 1000010 2.51
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 102-63, Fernando Rodney 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 11-8, Fernando Rodney 1-1
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 28, Fernando Rodney 3
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Sam Fuld, CF-LF4000011.252.331.353
Josh Reddick, RF3000101.249.309.420
Josh Donaldson, 3B4000001.255.343.463
Adam Dunn, DH4111021.226.345.450
Brandon Moss, LF-1B3000010.242.338.449
Jed Lowrie, SS3010000.239.316.352
Stephen Vogt, 1B2010001.303.340.473
   Craig Gentry, CF1000000.258.317.294
Derek Norris, C2000101.273.367.425
Eric Sogard, 2B2000011.220.303.273
Jon Lester, P0000000.000.000.000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals2813125    
Batting
HR - Adam Dunn (22, Hernandez)
SH - Eric Sogard (4)
RBI - Adam Dunn (58)
CS - Derek Norris (2, 2nd base by Hernandez/Zunino)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brandon Moss 1
DP - Donaldson-Sogard-Moss
E - Jed Lowrie (12, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (L,13-10) 8722052 2.54
Luke Gregerson 1100010 2.36
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 107-73, Luke Gregerson 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 10-9, Luke Gregerson 1-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 31, Luke Gregerson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 17073
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Adam Hamari, Second Base - Quinn Wolcott, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor