Marco Gonzales pitched seven strong innings as the Seattle Mariners defeated the host Oakland Athletics 9-2 Friday night.
Omar Narvaez and Mallex Smith hit two-run homers for the Mariners, who improved to 4-3 on their nine-game trip.
Gonzales (7-6) won his second straight start after a six-game losing streak. The left-hander, who also beat Oakland in the season opener March 20 in Japan, allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in seven innings, with two walks and three strikeouts.
Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt (3-3) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits. He walked four and struck out four as the Athletics had a two-game winning streak snapped in the opener of a season-long, 10-game homestand.
The Mariners took the lead for good with a three-run fourth. They loaded the bases with no outs on a walk to Daniel Vogelbach, a single by Narvaez and an error by shortstop Marcus Semien, who dropped the ball at second on a potential double-play grounder by Tim Beckham.
J.P. Crawford then lined a two-run double just inside the first-base bag to give Seattle a 3-2 advantage. Another run scored on Dee Gordon’s sacrifice fly.
Narvaez went deep in the seventh and Smith in the eighth. Crawford added a run-scoring double in the ninth.
M’s DH/1B Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the American League with 21 home runs, wasn’t in the starting lineup because of mild lower back stiffness. … The M’s reinstated SS J.P. Crawford from the 10-day injured list after a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Modesto. In addition, RHP Brandon Brennan was placed on the 10-day IL with a strained right shoulder, RHP Matt Festa was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and 2B Shed Long was optioned to the Rainiers.
By the numbers
73: There has been at least one home run in all 73 of the Mariners games this season. It’s the longest streak in a single season in MLB history, surpassing the record of 69 straight by three teams (1985 Baltimore Orioles, 2017 Chicago White Sox and 2017 Texas Rangers).
Our take from Right Field
Gonzales, the former Gonzaga standout, seems to be back to his early season form that helped him win a franchise record five games by the end of April. Crawford looked strong in his return from the injured list, with two doubles and three RBIs and made the plays in the field, starting two double plays.
The M’s continue their three-game series in Oakland with a 6:07 p.m. game Saturday. LHP Wade LeBlanc (3-2, 5.31 ERA) is scheduled to be the primary pitcher (after opener Gerson Bautista) against Athletics RHP Frankie Montas (8-2, 2.64).
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