SEATTLE (CBS/AP) — Stephen Vogt hit his 14th home run in the first inning on the only pitch that he saw on the final day of the season and the Oakland Athletics held on for a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Vogt drove the first pitch he saw from Felix Hernandez just beyond the left-field wall to give the A’s an early lead. Vogt was lifted for a pinch-hitter in his next at-bat. Marcus Semien and Eric Pinder added RBI singles as Oakland made the three early runs stand up.
Seattle appeared drained after seeing its postseason hopes dashed in Saturday’s extra-innings loss to the A’s. Hernandez (11-8) was lifted after the third inning and Guillermo Heredia’s two-run double in the fifth amounted to all of Seattle’s offense and the only real threat against Oakland starter Sean Manaea.
Manaea (7-9) threw seven innings, allowing five hits and striking out five. Since coming off the disabled list in mid-September, Manaea allowed three runs in 24 innings, striking out 20 and allowing 15 hits.
Oakland finished at 69-93, a one-game improvement over a year ago but tied for the fifth-worst mark in franchise history. Matt Olson made a leaping catch at the wall in right field to grab Kyle Seager’s line drive for the second out of the ninth and preserve the victory.
John Axford pitched the ninth for his third save.
The Mariners were in contention for the second wild card in the American League thanks to a 16-6 stretch. But hopes of playoff baseball returning to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in 15 years ended when Seattle lost 9-8 in 10 innings on Saturday.
It was the second time in three years the Mariners went into the final weekend with a shot at the postseason only to fall just short.
Seattle made a 10-game improvement from 2015 in Scott Servais’ first year as a manager at any level of baseball. Seattle was buoyed by huge years from Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Seager, who combined to hit 112 home runs and drive in 307 runs in the middle of the order.
Cruz, who has been playing with a sore left wrist the final two weeks, was given Sunday off.
(UN)FIT FOR A KING
Hernandez closed out of the most inconsistent seasons of his career with a brief appearance. He was solid early in the season, but a strained calf muscle that landed him on the disabled list for nearly two months derailed his season. Hernandez finished with a 3.82 ERA, his highest since 2007 when he was 21 and in his second full season.
Hernandez lost his final three decisions of the season.
A’s: Oakland opens the 2017 season on April 3 at home against the Los Angeles Angels.
Mariners: Seattle opens the 2017 season on April 3 at Houston.
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