Mariners' Iwakuma wins again in 3-2 victory over Athletics
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Hisashi Iwakuma kept it simple. He followed his own game plan and it helped him win for the fifth time in six starts.
Iwakuma pitched 6 1-3 solid innings and the Seattle Mariners earned their fifth straight victory, completing a three-game sweep with a 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
''I have been working on keeping the ball down and I was able to do that,'' Iwakuma said through an interpreter. ''I felt like I was able to command both sides, up and down.''
Iwakuma (7-3) avenged his only loss since the end of July by allowing one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out three.
''He was breezing pretty good until he ran into some trouble there,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He hit his spots and made one mistake.''
Kyle Seager and Ketel Marte each drove in a run, and Brad Miller collected two hits for the Mariners.
Shawn O'Malley singled and walked Sunday and had six hits in his first seven major league at-bats as the Mariners swept a series in Oakland for the first time in six years.
Billy Butler hit a home run for the Athletics, who lost their fifth straight. The long ball gives the A's a 12-game streak with at least one homer, currently the longest active streak as Seattle had its 13-game run snapped.
Sean Nolin (0-1) became the 28th pitcher used by the A's, a franchise record. He made his first ML appearance in nearly a year and his first start in two years.
''I felt a little more comfortable than I did my last two rehab starts,'' Nolin said. ''I'm grateful for that. It was a pretty good day overall.''
Nolin gave up three runs on five hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out one.
Marte singled in a run, Seager hit a sacrifice fly and O'Malley scored on a wild pitch to put the Mariners ahead in the fifth.
A's right fielder Jake Smolinski threw out Logan Morrison at third earlier in the inning.
''We probably should have lost the ballgame and I'll leave it at that,'' McClendon said.
Butler's one-out homer in the seventh ended Iwakuma's day and Danny Valencia's groundout in the eighth made it 3-2.
Tom Wilhelmsen got the final five outs for his 10th save in as many chances.
''That's as gutsy as I've seen him in the two years I've been here,'' McClendon said. ''That was not an easy save.''
Mariners: Third base coach Rich Donnelly left the game with an upset stomach. Chris Woodward moved to third and outfield coach Andy Van Slyke took over at first base. ... Nelson Cruz (strained right quad) missed his third straight game. ... OF Franklin Gutierrez (right groin) was also out of the starting lineup a second straight game.
Athletics: C Stephen Vogt left the game in the eighth inning after getting hit in the groin area by a foul ball. He was sent to a local hospital for tests. Carson Blair replaced him and made his major league debut. ... OF Sam Fuld (back spasms) is expected to return during the Houston series. He has not started in nearly two weeks. ... OF Josh Reddick did not start due to illness but did pinch hit in the seventh.
Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias (4-7, 4.35) starts at home Monday afternoon against the Texas Rangers. He's 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts against the Rangers. He's facing them for the first time this season.
Athletics: LHP Felix Doubront (2-1, 3.99) opens the A's series with the AL West leading Houston Astros on Monday afternoon. He's faced the Astros once, in April of 2013 as a member of the Boston Red Sox.