OAKLAND (AP) — Hideki Matsui plans to show up at the ballpark every day playing to win. His mindset remains the same in any situation.
Matsui and Cliff Pennington both drove in three runs to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 9-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
“It doesn’t matter whether the team is in a playoff race or not,” Matsui said through his interpreter. “I’m going to prepare for every game and look for ways to help the team win. It’s great to have the opportunities.”
Brandon Allen and Scott Sizemore drove in runs for the A’s, who won their second straight following a five-game losing streak.
Guillermo Moscoso (7-8) snapped a two-game losing streak despite allowing his first earned run in 25 2-3 innings against AL West opponents. He improved to 5-2 with a 2.62 ERA at home this season.
“He got better as the night went on,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Franklin Gutierrez and Brendan Ryan drove in runs for the Mariners, who lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Jason Vargas (7-13) fell to 1-8 over his last 11 starts.
Moscoso, who retired the final 16 batters he faced, went seven
innings, allowing two runs—one earned—and five hits. He walked one and struck out six. Moscoso went at least seven innings for just the second time in nine starts since the All-Star break.
“He did a good job against us,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “He elevated his fastball when he wanted to, he was down and in and he pitched inside well. We were in there hacking. They weren’t giving away at-bats. We just didn’t have a lot to show for it.”
Vargas, who was 6-5 after throwing his third shutout of the season on July 1, lasted five innings. He allowed five runs and six hits, walking four and striking out four. Vargas has given up 22 earned runs over his last 21 2-3 innings.
“The big inning has been killing me, it’s been killing the team,” Vargas said. “The fact of the matter is I haven’t been very good. The season’s kind of winding down and I got to figure it out pretty quick.”
The Mariners scored runs in the first and second. Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single and reached third on Michael Taylor’s fielding error. Gutierrez grounded out to score Suzuki. Ryan added an RBI single in the second.
Matsui’s three-run double in the third put the A’s in front for good. Allen added a run-scoring single.
“That was the hit of the game,” Melvin said of Matsui’s bases-clearing double. “We were down, maybe we’re pressing, and we needed a big hit. That gave us the lead and now we’re able to out up better at-bats.”
Sizemore had an RBI single in the fifth and Pennington’s seventh home run in the seventh made it 9-2. Matsui scored on a wild pitch earlier in the inning.
NOTES: RHP Brandon McCarthy makes the start for the Athletics on Saturday. He is 6-2 with a 3.77 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. He is 1-4 career against the Mariners. … A’s IF Jemile Weeks extended his season-best hitting streak to 10 games with his third-inning single. … Matsui’s walk in the fifth ended a career-tying run of 16 consecutive games without a walk. … Suzuki has a lifetime .363 batting average in Oakland, the highest in the park by any hitter. … Seattle OF Casper Wells snapped an 0-for-28 streak with a second-inning double. … RHP Michael Pineda is Seattle’s Saturday starter. He has 17 quality starts, the most by a Mariners’ rookie since 1992. He leads all major league rookies with 156 strikeouts. Pineda is 2-0 in three starts against the A’s.