Albers, Cano propel Mariners in rout of Athletics
SEATTLE — Seattle Mariners starter Andrew Albers assumed he was going to be in for a short afternoon when he needed 11 pitches to get through the Oakland Athletics’ first batter on Sunday.
Things got better in a hurry for Seattle’s 31-year-old southpaw.
The Mariners used three home runs and a strong start from Albers to complete a three-game sweep of the Athletics with a 10-2 win on Sunday afternoon.
Albers threw five no-hit innings before allowing a leadoff homer in the sixth, and Robinson Cano, Carlos Ruiz and Mitch Haniger homered in the win. Seattle (69-68) blew the game open with a five-run eighth inning on the way to 17 hits for the day.
Albers (3-1) recovered from his lengthy at-bat by Oakland’s Marcus Semien to open the game, allowing just one run and one hit in six innings.
“That’s not really the way you want to start a game,” Albers said. “After (Semien) went 11 or 12 pitches deep, I thought: It’s going to be a long game. Luckily, things got rolling after that.”
Cano had four hits and as many RBIs and Haniger went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs for Seattle.
Oakland’s first run came on Matt Olson’s leadoff homer in the sixth. That was the only blemish for Albers, who opened the game with five hitless innings.
“Obviously, it’s kind of neat getting that far into a game not giving up a hit,” Albers said.
Olson added an RBI single in the top of the eighth. The A’s (58-78) had just five hits en route to their sixth loss in a row.
“That was terrible,” manager Bob Melvin said of Oakland’s six-game road trip. “I can’t remember the last time we went on a road trip and didn’t come home with a win. And you feel bad for our fans that come out and support us. ... Not to get (a win), it is pretty disappointing.”
Cano followed his 20th homer of the season Saturday with a one-out, two-run shot in the first inning on Sunday.
Cano added a two-out, RBI single in the fourth as the Mariners opened a 3-0 lead against struggling Oakland starter Daniel Gossett.
Gossett (3-8) allowed three runs, seven hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings.
“It just didn’t look like he was commanding the baseball today,” Melvin said.
Olson hit his 12th home run of the season to pull Oakland within 3-1.
The Mariners got that back on Ruiz’s solo homer to open the bottom of the sixth. Ruiz’s third home run of the year put Seattle in front 4-1. Haniger added a 437-foot solo shot to left in the bottom of the seventh as the Mariners opened a 5-1 lead.
After Oakland’s Mark Canha led off the eighth with a double, Olson drove in his second run of the day with a one-out single to center, pulling the A’s within 5-2.
The Mariners piled on in the eighth when 10 batters combined for six hits and five runs on the way to a 10-2 lead.
NOTES: The most impressive play in the field may have been turned in by 56-year-old Seattle first-base coach Casey Candaele, who nearly got taken out by a line drive. Candaele was standing near the coaching box behind first base in the fourth inning when Mariners C Carlos Ruiz drilled a liner directly at his head. Candaele was able to get both hands up and stop the path of the ball before landing flat on his back. The only discernible injury seemed to be a bruised ego. ... Mitch Haniger’s four hits extended his hitting streak to four games. He’s hitting .588 (10-for-17) during that span. ... Reliever Shae Simmons and INF Gordon Beckham made their Mariners debuts in the late innings, and C Mike Marjama made his major league debut as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth. ... The A’s will host a three-game series with the Angels beginning Monday and Seattle welcomes in the Houston Astros for three games. ... Oakland starter Chris Smith, scheduled to be on the mound Monday, is looking for his first major league win since 2008.