OAKLAND — J.A. Happ acknowledged his frustration through a series of losses and no-decisions that had piled up since early May. He got a breather Friday night.
Nelson Cruz, Seth Smith, Brad Miller and Logan Morrison all hit two-run homers and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 9-5 Friday night for their third win in four games.
Happ (4-5) snapped a personal four-game slide with six strong innings, giving up three runs and eight hits. He struck out five and walked none.
“It felt good to go out for the sixth and pitch with the lead,” Happ said. “They hit the ball on the ground for the most part and they found holes in the second. I just kept making my pitches and figured sooner or later they would hit them at guys.”
Over his past nine starts, Happ left with a lead or the score tied three times and behind by a run three times. He never allowed more than four runs in any of them.
“It seemed like weird things happened in the second,” Happ said. “I did not want to tell you guys that (it was frustrating) again.”
The Mariners gave Happ plenty of breathing room with their five-run rally in the eighth, featuring homers by Cruz and Miller, and an RBI grounder from Mark Trumbo.
“It’s fun to get four, five runs ahead,” Smith said. “It takes the pressure off. You don’t give up an at bat but it takes a load off.”
Smith, a former Athletics player, put the Mariners ahead with his seventh homer.
Robinson Cano added three hits as the Mariners won their sixth in eight games against the A’s. Kyle Seager had two hits.
Mark Canha had two hits and three RBIs, Billy Burns had two hits and drove in a run and Brett Lawrie and Josh Reddick also had two hits each for the A’s, who had won three of their previous four games. Marcus Semien also drove in a run
Jesse Chavez (4-8) gave up four runs and nine hits in his 6 1/3 innings. He did not walk anyone and struck out four.
“Get two quick outs and then you fall in a rut like that where you got an at-bat with Smitty, whose a good contact hitter,” Chavez said. “He just made a good swing on the ball and got it out.”
The A’s took a 3-0 lead in the second. Consecutive singles from Brett Lawrie, Reddick and Canha produced the first run, followed by Semien’s RBI groundout and Burns’ RBI double.
Morrison’s 10th home run, with Mike Zunino abroad, cut the deficit to 3-2 in the top of the third.
Seattle has hit 17 homers in its past 12 games after hitting 13 in its previous 24 games. The Mariners also extended their winning streak to 13 when scoring at least five runs.
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