By Charlie O. Mallonee
OAKLAND — After losing the opening contest of this 10-game homestand, the Athletics (36-35) were intent on getting back into the win column on Saturday night against the last-place Seattle Mariners (30-44). The A’s jumped on the Mariners early scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, and they never looked back en route to an 11-2 win over Seattle.
The A’s had their good luck piece in Frankie Montas on the mound for them in the game. On June 4, Montas put an end to a five-game losing streak when he beat the Angels in Anaheim 4-2. Montas picked his club up again on June 9 when he helped to put them back into the win column after a demoralizing doubleheader loss in Texas.
Montas picked his club up again as he pitched 6.0-innings allowing just two runs (earned) off six hits. Montas struck out nine Mariners and walked just one. He threw 93 pitches (60 strikes). Montas upped his record to 9-2 for the season which has to put him into consideration for the All-Star team.
If Montas continues to pick his club up as he has done in his last three starts, his new nickname will have to be “the fixer”.
An Important Western Division Win
Oakland entered the game with a 16-19 record versus teams in the Western Division of the American League. In fact, only one team in their division has a winning record inside the Western Division. Houston is 21-6 while the other four teams have losing records. The A’s can help themselves by beating the teams they play the most over the course of the season.
By the way, the A’s are the best versus the America League Central where they have won eight games and lost only once.
Focus on the A’s
- Marcus Semien went 3-for-4 in the game. He hit his 10th home of the season on a 2-1 count off Wade LeBlanc. Semien now has a 12-game hitting streak.
- Jurickson Profar also went 3-for-4 and posted four RBI. He leads the team with 39 runs batted in. Profar is batting .333 for the month of June.
- Matt Chapman had a 2-for-4 game with an RBI and two runs scored.
- Mark Canha hit his fifth double of the season and scored three runs.
- The M’s committed four errors in the game. It was the third time this season Seattle has made four miscues in a game.
- “The Opener” — Gerson Bautista (0-1) took the loss as he gave up three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
- Domingo Santana went 2-for-4 in the game. He is batting .354 (17-for-48) with nine walks, one double, three home runs, seven RBI, and four walks over last 11 games.
- Mallex Smith went hitless and snapped a career-high 13-game hitting streak.
- Factoid: There has been at least one home run hit in all 74 games that the Mariners have played this season. That is the longest streak in a single season in MLB history.
Mariners skipper watched the game on TV
Seattle manager Scott Servais was sent to the showers in the fourth inning after arguing a called third strike with home plate umpire Carlos Torres. Kyle Seager was called out and began arguing with Torres. Servais came out to protect his player. Torres showed a great deal of patience with the Mariners manager, but finally, he had enough. It was the second ejection of the season for Servais.
Mariners, Yankees make a trade
The M’s made the official announcement that American League home run leader Edwin Encarnacion has been sent to the New York Yankees along with a large amount of cash to help cover the slugger’s contract option or buyout. The Yankees are sending minor league pitcher – Juan Then – to Seattle. Ironically, the Yankees acquired from the M’s in 2017.
On Deck for the A’s
The M’s and A’s will wrap up this three-game series on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 1:07 PM on Father’s Day. The A’s will send RHP Tanner Anderson (0-1, 3.18) to the mound to face off against the M’s RHP Mike Leake (5-6, 4.26). The A’s will then be done with Seattle until July 5 when they will begin a three-game series in the Northwest.
Charlie O on Twitter: @Charlieo1320