SEATTLE (AP) — Ramon Laureano hit a solo home run in the third inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0 on Saturday night, clinching home-field advantage for the American League wild-card game.
The A’s will host the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. Tampa Bay lost 4-1 at Toronto earlier Saturday. Oakland has won three of its last four games and is 18-7 in September.
The winningest team in baseball since June 16 with a record of 60-28, the A’s are 33 games over .500 for the first time since 2002.
Oakland used Anderson (13-9) and three relievers for the victory. Anderson gave up three hits, struck out three and walked one in five innings, extending his career high for wins. Jesus Luzardo struck out three in the eighth and ninth for his second save.
The Mariners’ only real threat came in the fifth inning when Mallex Smith attempted a safety squeeze with the bases loaded. But Matt Olson picked up the bunt attempt barehanded and flipped it to catcher Sean Murphy, who easily tagged out Tom Murphy. It was the 12th shutout of the year for the A’s.
Seattle’s Marco Gonzales (16-13) took the loss despite a strong outing in chilly, windy conditions. Gonzales struck out four and walked three, giving up just five hits in the seven-inning outing.
Gonzales’ only mistake was leaving a 3-2 sinker up in the zone for Laureano, sent it out of the part in left field for his 24th home run in the third inning.
Athletics: OFs Chad Pinder and Ramon Laureano were in the lineup Saturday despite taking spills Friday night in an outfield manager Bob Melvin characterized as difficult to play on due to rain and dampness. Pinder twisted his knee on Friday, Melvin said, “and he has a little abductor thing that he has going on in concert with a hamstring thing he’s got going on.” But Pinder hit in the cage and ran around on the field enough to convince Melvin to put him in the lineup with home-field advantage in the AL wild-card race still in play. Also playing hurt are Laureano (shin), OF Mark Canha (groin) and Robbie Grossman (shoulder).
“That’s just the way this group is,” Melvin said. “They want to play, they want to win home field. It doesn’t surprise me.”
Mariners: LHP Tommy will miss his bulk innings assignment Sunday because of an inflamed left shoulder, Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Athletics: RHP Tanner Roark (4-2, 4.50 ERA) will make his 10th start for the A’s since coming over from Cincinnati at the trade deadline.
Mariners: Prospect RHP Justin Dunn (0-0, 3.86 ERA) will serve as an opener and will be followed by multiple relievers.
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