OAKLAND, Calif .– Seattle manager Scott Servais has said the Mariners may need a nice winning streak during the September streak to make a real playoff push.
Kyle Seager hit his 35th home run for a career-high 100 RBIs, Ty France also connected and the Mariners advanced in the playoff race, beating the Oakland Athletics 4-1 Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Seattle dominated the A’s for the third straight day to move closer to the Yankees’ 2 1/2 games for the AL’s second wild card. Oakland fell 3 1/2 behind New York.
âI won the series. I said along the way that maybe we should have a little luck and sweep someone up, so we have a chance to do that tomorrow, âServais said. âWe’ll see if we can do it. “
A manager Bob Melvin and bench coach Ryan Christenson were both sent off by home plate umpire Greg Gibson early in the sixth in a bizarre streak.
Melvin said he came to ask if Gibson asked for a time-out after Seattle’s Jarred Kelenic stole second on a false end from Dylan Moore that was not caught. But there was no sign of fouling during the game.
Runners are allowed to fly on foul spikes that are caught cleanly – in this case, the ball hit Moore’s bat and came out of catcher Sean Murphy’s glove and fell into dust.
Kelenic, probably thinking it was indeed a foul ball, then went back to first and was scored by Matt Olson.
Gibson, meanwhile, had signaled a time-out, so Kelenic was pushed back to second place.
Melvin got furious when Christenson was first cast trying to communicate to Melvin that he saw a bad end, but Gibson clearly thought Christenson was yelling at him. That meant third base coach Mark Kotsay moved on to active manager.
âHe said he did. I didn’t think he did, âMelvin said of the time-out call. “And then, meanwhile, Rhino told me after talking to our replay that it was a fake bullet and he thought he was talking to her and threw Rhino out. So I was trying to defend Rhino and tell him he was telling me it was a foul bullet, not him, and I stayed there too long. I shouldn’t have been sent off but I was trying to defend Rhino.
Gibson declined to discuss the ejections.
Regarding the game in question, Gibson said pitcher Deolis Guerra asked for time.
âI thought he wanted a new ball. So when the pitcher delayed the time, I called the time because the pitcher asked for it, âGibson told a reporter at the pool. âThat’s when the runner, for some reason, started to return to (first) base. The pitcher, he had asked for time and I allowed time. The guy was on second base, which is why (he was allowed to stay).
Chris Flexen (13-6) struck out eight strikes and two walks, allowing one run on three hits in seven stellar innings. Diego Castillo threw a 1-2-3 eighth, then Drew Steckenrider finished for his 11th save.
Tom Murphy added a single RBI against Cole Irvin (10-14), who fell to life 0-4 against the Mariners with all four losses in as many starts this year.
Matt Chapman scored in the fifth for the A.
âWe have to win tomorrow,â said Melvin. “After losing again tonight’s game, we are now behind them, tomorrow is a very important game for us.”
THE RETURN OF BASSITT
Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt has vowed to return to the mound by the end of the season after a scary 100 mph line in Chicago on August 17.
He will have his chance in the series final on Thursday afternoon. Bassitt underwent facial surgery Aug. 24 to repair three fractured cheekbones caused by the injury.
âIt was a bit of a torture chamber,â Bassitt said. “I’m happy to finally be back and hopefully help the team win.”
Immediately after being injured, on a ball from Brian Goodwin’s bat in the second inning of a 9-0 loss to the White Sox, Bassitt let Melvin and the medics know he absolutely had it. ‘intention to launch again this year.
Athletics: RHP Daulton Jefferies was examined by the team’s orthopedist, Dr. William Workman, and the MRI scan showed deformity of the elbow flexors. He will be sidelined for 2/3 weeks. … INF Jed Lowrie suffers from pain between the second and third bone in his right hand due to an awkward swing and will limit himself to hitting from the left side. … DH / 1B Mitch Moreland received a cortisone shot last week in his troublesome left wrist and is in rehab in Oakland, but he’s unlikely to play again in the regular season. â¦ RHP Mike Fiers (pitcher sprained elbow) allowed three runs – two earned – and four hits in the 1 2/3 inning with no strikeouts or walks for Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday night in a rehab release and still hasn’t made sense well. âHe’s just had a tough year,â said Melvin. â¦ RHP Trevor Rosenthal, who hasn’t kicked off this year due to shoulder and hip problems, should be reviewed by the doctor who performed his hip surgery.
Bassitt (12-4, 3.22 ERA) was leading the American League in wins, innings pitched (151.0) and starts (25) at the time of his injury. Seattle will send LHP Yusei Kikuchi (7-9, 4.32) to the mound in search of his first win in nine starts since defeating the Rays on Aug. 3. Kikuchi is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts on three walks in his two previous starts against the As this year.