Mariners back Karns with enough offense in 4-3 win over A's
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Steve Cishek's seventh consecutive save this season resembled many of the previous six - a few tense moments, a couple of baserunners and a perfect pitch to end it.
Considering how well Seattle's bullpen has performed this season, rookie manager Scott Servais didn't mind the late drama.
Cishek struck out pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie with two runners on in the ninth inning Monday night to nail down a 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics and give the Mariners their fifth consecutive win at the Coliseum.
''He's been very reliable all year,'' Servais said. ''I really trust him. He's got a good game plan when he goes out there.''
Cishek needed to get an extra out in the ninth after Stephen Vogt reached safely on a wild pitch after striking out.
Chris Coghlan followed with a walk to move the potential tying run to second base before Cishek got Lowrie swinging.
''Our bullpen's been outstanding,'' Servais said. ''I know it was a question mark on our team coming into the season, but we've had some guys step up, kind of having bounce-back years.''
Robinson Cano had three hits and scored twice, Nelson Cruz also had three hits and Kyle Seager hit a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning for Seattle.
Nathan Karns (3-1) gave up three runs over six-plus innings. The right-hander lost to Oakland in his first start of the season on April 9 but struck out six and walked one this time to earn his third straight win.
''I kind of had something to make up for from the first game against these guys so I just wanted to go out there and work ahead, learn from my mistakes,'' Karns said.
Khris Davis homered twice and had three RBIs for the A's.
All of Seattle's runs came off starter Kendall Graveman (1-3), who has been tagged for 10 runs over his last 11 innings.
The Mariners did most of their scoring on a pair of two-out hits in the sixth.
Seager doubled in Cano one batter after Adam Lind hit into double play, and Chris Iannetta followed with an RBI single to put Seattle up 3-1.
Nori Aoki doubled in the seventh, stole third and scored on a throwing error.
Karns and four relievers made it hold up with some help from Seattle's defense, which turned a pair of double plays on line drives.
Davis homered leading off the second and added a towering, two-run shot in the seventh - his fourth homer in nine games after hitting only one in his first 16 games.
Graveman struck out six and walked one in 6 1/3 innings.
Cano's double in the fourth put him in elite company. He became the fifth second baseman in major league history to have at least 2,000 hits, 450 doubles, 200 home runs and 1,000 RBIs. The other four are Rogers Hornsby, Roberto Alomar, Jeff Kent and Craig Biggio.
The A's and Mariners each plan to have a representative at Tim Lincecum's showcase workout in Arizona next week. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is a free agent who hasn't pitched in the majors since June 27 but is hoping to return to the big leagues. ''I'd be surprised if most teams weren't out there looking at him,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''He's been a big-time pitcher and a guy that is very well-liked out here in the Bay Area.''
Mariners: RHP Joaquin Benoit (shoulder inflammation) could begin throwing by the end of the week. Benoit is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.
Athletics: Lowrie was kept out of the starting lineup due to lingering soreness in his calf. ... Mark Canha made his first career start at third base, with Coghlan moving to second. Coghlan has been Oakland's primary third baseman since Danny Valencia went out with a strained hamstring. Valencia is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-3) starts against Oakland on Tuesday night seeking his third consecutive win over the A's.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (3-2) has beaten the Mariners four times in nine career starts but did not pitch against them when the teams played in early April.