SEATTLE (CBS/AP) — Chris Coghlan hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the ninth inning off closer Steve Cishek to give the Oakland Athletics a 3-2 win over the Mariners on Friday night in Seattle’s home opener.
The largest regular season crowd in Safeco Field history — 47,065 — watched to-be Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Then they saw the Mariners new closer give up a long ball in the ninth.
Coghlan turned on a 1-2 pitch on the inside corner from Cishek (0-1) and lined it down the right field line for his first homer of the season and the first run allowed by Seattle’s bullpen.
Josh Reddick also homered for Oakland, which took a 2-0 lead before Seattle rallied thanks to a solo home run from Dae-Ho Lee.
Sean Doolittle (1-1) pitched the eighth inning and Ryan Madson worked the ninth for his second save. Four Oakland relievers combined to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Eric Surkamp.
Coghlan also had an RBI single in the fourth inning to score Danny Valencia with Oakland’s first run. Reddick’s homer with two outs in the fifth off Seattle starter Taijuan Walker was his first of the year.
Seattle got all of its offense in the fifth inning against Surkamp, highlighted by Lee’s home run to deep center field. Lee became the seventh Mariners player in team history whose first major league hit was a home run. The last was Japanese catcher Kenji Johjima in 2006. Lee won the backup first baseman job in spring training in part because of his propensity for the long ball in the past — Lee hit 98 home runs combined over the past four seasons playing in Japan.
Surkamp was called up from the minors after Oakland’s rotation got shuffled following Felix Doubront’s elbow sprain in his final spring training start and Sonny Gray being scratched from the season opener due to food poisoning. Surkamp allowed only two hits through four innings before finding trouble in the fifth, starting with Lee’s homer. Leonys Martin was hit by an 0-2 pitch and later scored on Ketel Marte’s sacrifice fly, but the A’s escaped the jam when reliever Fernando Rodriguez got Nelson Cruz to ground into a double play with runners on the corners.
Walker threw six solid innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out four in his season debut.
Athletics: Reddick was partially given the day off. Rather than playing the outfield, Reddick was the A’s DH after his back bothered him following Thursday’s loss to the White Sox.
Athletics: Rich Hill (0-1) gets his second start after going on opening day because Sonny Gray was scratched due to food poisoning.
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