The Oakland Athletics rocked Felix Hernandez for four first-inning runs and then used five double plays to continually thwart Seattle Mariners threats en route to a 4-3 victory in the series finale Thursday afternoon in Oakland, Calif.
The win was the Athletics’ first in the three-game series, snapping a two-game losing streak overall and a five-game skid at home.
Oakland rode seven one-run innings from its bullpen after injury-replacement starter Josh Lucas was pulled after struggling through the first two innings, allowing a run in each but bailed out from further damage by a pair of double plays.
In between, the A’s did all their scoring against Hernandez, whose 26 career wins are the most of any active pitcher against Oakland.
Matt Joyce and Marcus Semien got things rolling in the first with singles, after which a sacrifice fly by Jed Lowrie got Oakland even at 1-1 after the Mariners had scored in the top of the inning.
After a second out, Matt Chapman walked and Stephen Piscotty followed with two-run double that gave Oakland a lead it never relinquished. Dustin Fowler made it a four-run inning with the team’s fourth hit, a single that plated Piscotty for a 4-2 lead.
Oakland got just one more hit and no more runs off Hernandez (5-4) in his six innings, but the damage already was done. The Seattle ace walked one and struck out two.
Making his first major league start, Lucas gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases in the Seattle first before Nelson Cruz grounded into a double play, scoring Jean Segura with the game’s first run.
Lucas walked Daniel Vogelbach and Andrew Romine in the second, but induced a double-play grounder in between. After Romine stole second, David Freitas got Seattle back within 4-2 with an RBI single.
Lucas was done after two innings, having allowed two runs, three hits and three walks in a 52-pitch adventure. He struck out one.
Chris Hatcher pitched two shutout innings and Yusmeiro Petit three to help the A’s retain their 4-2 lead before the Mariners rallied in the eighth.
Kyle Seager’s two-out double got Seattle within 4-3, but not before the A’s fifth double play had taken some of the sting out of a two-on, none-out situation.
A’s closer Blake Treinen got Vogelbach to fly out with two aboard to end the inning, before retiring the side in order in the ninth, striking out a pair, for his 11th save.
Petit (2-1) was credited with the win.
Fowler finished with two hits and a stolen base for the A’s, who already have lost three series to the Mariners by identical 2-1 counts this season.
Segura had three hits and Seager two, including a double, for the Mariners, who out-hit the A’s 10-5.
—Field Level Media