SEATTLE (CBS / AP) — Justin Smoak hit a three-run, tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 4-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
The victory gave Jason Vargas (10-13) his career-high 10th victory. He worked eight innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking none and striking out career-high 10.
Miguel Olivo also hit a solo home run in the fifth, his 19th. That broke the Mariners club record for most home runs by a catcher, one more than both Kenji Johjima and Dan Wilson.
Brandon League finished the ninth, allowing a run on Josh Willingham’s RBI groundout, scoring Coco Crisp from third. Crisp had opened the inning with a single and stole second and third to give him 48 steals. He’s now tied for the league steals lead with New York’s Brett Gardner.
League still managed to pick up his 37th save in 42 opportunities.
It was the first time this season that A’s starter Brandon McCarthy (9-9) has given up more than one home run in a game. McCarthy went the distance, allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked no one.
It was McCarthy’s fifth complete game this season.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the sixth, Dustin Ackley drilled a two-out single to center. Mike Carp dropped a single into left center, sending Ackley to third. Smoak then connected on a 1-0 fastball for his 15th home run, into the right-field seats.
The A’s touched Vargas in the first. Jemile Weeks lead off the game with a double into the left-field corner. Crisp moved him to third with a right-side groundout. Hideki Matsui sent Weeks home with a flare single to left.
That broke Matsui’s 13-game streak without an RBI, the longest stretch of his career.
No A’s player reached second against Vargas after the first inning. At one point, he retired 14 straight batters.
The Mariners had a chance against McCarthy in the third. Alex Liddi had an one-out double that just eluded a diving attempt by right-fielder Michael Taylor. Liddi tagged and moved to third on Michael Saunders deep flyout to center.
Ichiro Suzuki then bounced a grounder toward short but Adam Rosales charged in and fired to first to nab Suzuki by a half-step.
With one out in the fifth, Olivo tied it, hitting a 1-0 fastball over the left-field wall. Olivo leads the team in home runs and RBI (62). No catcher has ever led the team in either category.
Adam Rosales had a two-out single in the eighth, ending an 0-for-34 slide. His last hit was June 30, a span of 15 games.
Notes: Mariners manager Eric Wedge has had meetings with his players, his coaches and the front office all geared toward improving next season’s results. “This is going to be arguably the most important winter that these guys are going to have,” he said. “With all these young guys who are here and where they’re at and what they’ve experienced this year, they need to understand what they need to do physically to make sure they’re coming to spring training where they need to be and not leaving anything to chance. Believe you me, I’ll know when I see these guys or talk to these guys in regard to what we’ve been talking to these guys about the last two or three weeks and where they come in next spring.” … SS Brendan Ryan (neck) and OF Casper Wells (head) will not play again. … A’s have a pair of injured players, OF David DeJesus (hip) and OF Cliff Pennington (oblique) who did not play Monday but manager Bob Melvin hopes to have both available Tuesday.
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