Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton pitched the game of his life, but the Oakland Athletics went to work the moment the tall Canadian lefty departed.
Paxton’s 16 strikeouts — three off Oakland’s single-game franchise record — didn’t end up factoring into the decision at all, as Jed Lowrie tied the game with a two-run shot off Juan Nicasio in the eighth and Mark Canha put the A’s ahead in the ninth with a homer off Edwin Diaz, one of the game’s best closers.
Blake Treinen pitched the final two innings for Oakland (15-15), escaping jams in both the eighth and ninth to earn the win, his second of the season.
After Lowrie tied it, Treinen was brought in with the top of the order due up for the Mariners. He allowed a one-out infield hit to Dee Gordon and a double to Jean Segura, who was initially ruled out by Angel Hernandez at second, but review overturned the call. Robinson Cano was walked to load the bases, and Treinen took advantage of what had been a large strike zone all night by freezing Cruz with a pitch on the inside corner at the knees. He then struck out Mitch Haniger — who ranks second in the Major Leagues with 10 home runs — to end the inning.
Canha homered on a 1-0 offering from Diaz in the top of the ninth, representing just the second run the Puerto Rican closer had allowed all season.
Treinen returned to the mound in the bottom of the frame, and began by inducing a groundout from Kyle Seager. Then, Treinen allowed a one-out walk to Mike Zunino and a single to Ryon Healy. He struck out Ichiro Suzuki for the second out, and appeared to get Gordon to ground out to end the game, but the bang-bang play at first was overturned on replay review, giving Segura a shot with the bases loaded. Segura grounded out to third to end the game and bring the A’s back to .500.
Up until the wild last two innings, Paxton was the story for Seattle (17-12). He recorded at least two strikeouts in every inning, and twice retired Jake Smolinski to escape jams. With men on second and third in the fifth after Jonathan Lucroy’s two-out double, Paxton got Smolinski to fly out to right. He then struck Smolinski out with two on to end the top of the seventh. Smolinski did have positive contributions on the night in the form of a tremendous diving catch to rob Gordon in the bottom of the first.
In his first start for the A’s since 2013, Brett Anderson pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two third-inning runs on a homer by Healy and a Segura RBI single.