Seattle Mariners ace Marco Gonzales has been streaky, except when it comes to the Oakland Athletics.
Gonzales threw another gem against the A’s in a 6-2 victory Saturday night for his 10th win of the season.
Gonzales worked eight innings and improved to 3-0 against his American League-West rivals with just six earned runs allowed in 21 innings with 13 strikeouts.
For the A’s, it was all very familiar.
“It seems like we’ve played that game against him where we’ve had him on the ropes early in the game and he’s limited the damage and then ends up going seven or eight innings,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “It feels like we’ve played that game quite often against him.”
Gonzales reached the eighth inning for the third time, allowing five hits and striking out six to help the Mariners snap a three-game losing streak. He accomplished the feat despite throwing 28 pitches in the first inning, loading the bases on two hits and a walk to fall behind 1-0 on Ramon Laureano’s sacrifice fly. He gave up Matt Olson’s 18th home run in the third, a solo shot that made it 2-0.
“Once they got the second run, I thought, ‘OK, that’s it, and any second we’re going to go off, and we did,” Gonzales said.
As predicted, Daniel Vogelbach and Kyle Seager stepped in to erase Oakland’s lead. Vogelbach, who is headed to the All-Star game, hit his 21st home run of the season to shallow right field with Domingo Santana aboard to tie the game at 2-all. Omar Narvaez followed with a single and Seager hit his two-run homer to shallow right for a 4-2 lead.
Narvaez drew a bases-loaded walk and Seager followed with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to make it 6-2, ending the night for starter Chris Bassitt (5-4).
“They had a really good approach,” Bassitt said. “Just didn’t swing one time at my curveball. Cutter, fastball is what I had. It wasn’t so much about pitches. It was more so about the speed of pitches. They were just on that speed.”
Conversely, everything was working for Gonzales (10-7), who had a difficult path to 10 victories, even after he became the first pitcher to reach five wins this season with a 5-0 start. He has gone 5-7 since, but won five of his last six starts.
Gonzales settled down after his difficult opening, retiring 12 of 15 batters during one stretch, including eight straight to finish his night. He now has a 2.57 ERA against the A’s.
“He gets the decision. Whether we win or lose it, he gets the decision,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “To get 10 wins by the All-Star break says something.”
Athletics: Right fielder Mark Canha was a late scratch with a tight back. Manager Bob Melvin said the move was precautionary after the problem popped up on Saturday. Melvin hopes Canha will be back in the lineup Sunday. Jurickson Profar got the start. … Starting pitcher Sean Manaea will return to his aborted rehab assignment Monday at Class A Stockton with a three-inning appearance scheduled. Manaea had been on the return from torn labrum surgery on his shoulder last September when he experienced muscle soreness on his right side two weeks ago. The team plans to extend his minor league work until he’s ready to take his place in the rotation.
“He’s always been intent on trying to give us a couple of months this year, and hopefully that’s the case,” Melvin said.
Jharel Cotton is scheduled for an appearance in Stockton on Tuesday in his return from Tommy John surgery. Melvin did not have details about Cotton’s appearance. The team also promoted RHP J.B. Wendelken from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned RHP Paul Blackburn a little more than a day after adding him to the major league roster. Melvin said the move allowed Blackburn to return to his role as a starter.
Mariners: The Mariners suffered another series of setbacks with their bullpen Saturday when they moved RHPs Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla to the 10-day injured list. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 right lat strain for Adams, who’s been one of the team’s most reliable relievers. He’s out for a few weeks, manager Scott Servais said. Altavilla also was scheduled to undergo an MRI Saturday afternoon. Servais said the pitcher felt pain in his forearm near his elbow on his final throw of his appearance Friday night against the A’s. The team promoted RHPs Parker Markel and David McKay from Triple-A Tacoma.
“We’re starting to get a little stability in our bullpen, but (expletive) happens and we’ve had a lot of (expletive) happen this year, so we’ll keep moving forward,” Servais said.
Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (3-1, 4.67 ERA) is 2-0 since being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on June 26.
Mariners: The Mariners will send out an opener to be named, likely RHP Matt Carasiti (0-0, 1.80 ERA), to start Sunday’s game, then bring in LHP Wade LeBlanc (5-2, 5.02)
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