The Oakland Athletics kicked off the final leg of this road trip tonight as they start a three-game series against the division rival Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have caught fire this past month going 24-6 in their last thirty games. On July 25th, the Mariners were 8.5 games out of first and now they have sole possession of the American League West. After taking the first two games of their series with the White Sox, the A’s dropped the second two to earn a split on this set.
Mark Kotsay will send lefty Kyle Muller to the mound tonight. The 25-year-old hurler is 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA in eleven starts this season. He’ll be facing 23-year-old Oakland native Bryan Woo who is 1-3 with a 4.58 ERA in his twelve starts in 2023.
J.P. Crawford greeted Muller’s second pitch of the night with a homer to straight away center field to give the M’s a quick 1-0 lead. After reigning Rookie-of-the-Year Julio Rodriguez grounded out, Eugenio Suarez doubled to left field. Muller then struck out Teoscar Hernandez and Ty France to escape without any more damage.
Crawford was at it again in the bottom of the third inning leading off with a base hit. Julio Rodriguez drove in his 85th run of the season with a double into the centerfield gap. JRod moved to third on a passed ball by Shea Langeliers. Suarez took a four-pitch walk from Muller, and Teoscar Hernandez dropped a fly ball into centerfield to drive in Rodriguez. A Ty France base hit loaded the bases still with no outs. Dylan Moore grounded into a force out at second, but Suarez scored on the play to bring the score to 4-0.
Crawford once again led off the inning in the fourth and drew a walk from Muller. Rodriguez then planted a homer 425 feet into the centerfield stands.
With one out in the top of the fifth Lawrence Butler drew the first walk of his career. But Jordan Diaz grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Adrian Martinez replaced Muller in the bottom of the fifth inning. Muller’s final line was four innings with nine hits, six earned runs, three walks and six strikeouts. TY France walked to start off the Seattle half of the fifth. Dylan Moore then singled. But Martinez bore down and got out of the inning with both runners stranded. At the end of five, the Mariners led 6-0.
With one out in the sixth, Rodriguez hit a routine ground ball to third baseman Jordan Diaz who just didn’t react quickly enough and JRod beat it out for an infield single. A Martinez wild pitch moved Rodriguez to second base. Teoscar Hernandez singled to drive Rodriguez home to bring the score to 7-0.
Bryan Woo was done after six. The Alameda High School grad threw six scoreless innings holding the A’s to merely three hits and one walk. Lefty Tayler Saucedo relieved him and shut down the A’s in the seventh.
Trent Thornton came in for the Mariners to shut the door on the A’s. He gave up a ground-rule double to Seth Brown, but that was it. The Mariners took this one 7-0.