SEATTLE (CBS / AP) — Casper Wells hit a two-run homer in his third game with Seattle and Brendan Ryan sparked the Mariners’ offense with some nifty baserunning in a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
Wells, acquired Saturday in a four-player trade with Detroit, connected on a full-count pitch from Rich Harden (2-2) in the sixth inning. The drive to left was his first homer since he went deep on June 24 for the Tigers against Arizona.
Seattle starter Felix Hernandez (10-9) allowed two runs and five hits, struck out nine and walked three in 6 1-3 innings. He has 162 strikeouts, tied for second best in the American League.
The right-hander improved to 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA in 21 career starts against Oakland, including five consecutive winning decisions. He hasn’t lost to the A’s since Sept. 19, 2008.
Scott Sizemore hit a two-run homer on Hernandez’s final pitch, but Jeff Gray worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth and Brandon League finished for his 25th save in 29 opportunities.
The Mariners have won four of six since a club-record 17-game losing streak.
Hideki Matsui had three hits for Oakland, which has dropped four of six. Harden allowed four runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Seattle grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning, helped by alert baserunning from Ryan.
Ryan reached on a one-out infield single to deep shortstop. As he walked back to first base, Ryan noticed second base completely uncovered so he took off and made it without a throw. He popped up immediately and noticed the same lax defense at third, sliding in safely again without a throw.
Dustin Ackley then walked and Mike Carp followed with a two-run double off the left-field wall.
For the Mariners, that represented a career breakthrough against Harden. At the time, it was the most runs ever scored against him in a game at Safeco Field. He entered with a 5-0 record and 0.86 ERA in six career starts at Seattle’s home.
NOTES: The Mariners promoted RHP Tom Wilhelmsen from Double-A Jackson. … A’s SS Cliff Pennington came out of Monday’s game in the sixth inning with an outbreak of Bell’s Palsy, a disorder of the nerve that controls movement of the face muscles. Medication has controlled the condition and he may be available again Friday in Tampa. … With both Pennington and OF David DeJesus (sore thumb) sidelined, the A’s brought up utilityman Adam Rosales from Triple-A Sacramento. LHP Jerry Blevins was designated for assignment. … LHP Charlie Furbush, acquired from Detroit on Saturday, makes his third big league start Wednesday afternoon. He made a pair of July starts for the Tigers, combining for 7 1-3 innings, allowing 12 runs, eight earned. … LHP Gio Gonzalez takes the mound for the A’s on Wednesday. Gonzalez is 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 10 career appearances against Seattle.
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