What a difference a season or two makes. The A's have been known to simply dominate Seattle--their 2006 playoff appearance was largely due to the difference in records between the Angels/Seattle and the A's/Seattle games--but not this year. Seattle, combining fantastic defense with equally good pitching, beat the A's for the second consecutive night, behind a strong start by Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Clayton Mortensen pitched a pretty good six innings for the A's, but unfortunately, he was in the game for seven. The second inning, where the Mariners collected 4 of their 6 hits against Mortensen and 2 of his 3 walks, would be the different in the game, as Seattle would score four runs, all with two outs.
Meanwhile, the A's struggled from beginning to end against Rowland-Smith, only managing five hits; two doubles in the third by Sweeney and Kennedy for the A's first run and an unexpected homerun by Nomar Garciaparra following a Hairston single in the seventh.
The game thread provided most of the excitement tonight, but Cliff Pennington did his part in the field, making several difficult plays look easy. Unfortunately, this did not carry over to his bat; he went 0-3 on the night. He wasn't alone. Davis, Suzuki, Ellis, and Crosby also went 0-for.
The A's still have a chance at a split if they can take the next two; Anderson will pitch tomorrow night (6:05 start) against French. See you back on AN! Enjoy the long weekend! (Happy Birthday, ZigFan!)