Lester, 3 relievers shut out Mariners, A’s win 4-0

SEATTLE — If the Seattle Mariners are going to find their way into the postseason for the first time in more than a decade, they’ll need to be the best road team in the American League for one final trip.

The Mariners failed to make up ground on Oakland in their next-to-last homestand of the season.

“We haven’t been good. The good part is we are going on the road where we have been real good,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “You want to talk about improbable, that’s about as improbable as you get.”

Sam Fuld and Brandon Moss hit solo home runs, Jon Lester combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter and Oakland beat the Mariners 4-0 on Sunday.

Oakland won consecutive games for the first time in three weeks and stretched its lead in the AL wild-card race. The A’s now hold a 1½-game advantage over Kansas City and a 2½ game lead over the Mariners.

Seattle went 2-4 on the homestand and play 11 of its final 14 on the road. And it’s quite the road trip: four against the Angels, three in Houston and four in Toronto.

“We just have to keep going out there and playing hard. I don’t think there is any magic formula,” Seattle’s Austin Jackson said. “You go out and concentrate on each game and focus on the things you can handle.”

Seattle had a chance to take two of three from Oakland and close the gap in the wild card standings but failed to get any hits with runners in scoring position.

The Mariners had baserunners in every inning except the six, but was 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position against Lester. Jackson was at third base with one out in the first and was stranded. Chris Denorfia was also left at third in the third inning.

Dan Otero took over in the seventh and immediately gave up singles to pinch-hitters Endy Chavez and Logan Morrison, and a wild pitch advanced the pair to second and third with no outs. Jackson grounded out to first and pinch-hitter Michael Saunders struck out on three pitches. Otero intentionally walked Robinson Cano to load the bases and got Kendrys Morales to pop out to left to end the threat.

Seattle finished 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.

“We had a lot of opportunities. That’s the good part of it … The bad part is we didn’t drive anybody in. That happens,” McClendon said.

Fuld barely cleared the right-field wall in the first inning off Chris Young. It was Oakland’s only hit until sixth inning. Moss hit his 24th homer leading off the seventh, his first home run since July 24. Fuld and Adam Dunn both added an RBI singles in the eighth inning as Oakland stretched its lead.

Young (12-8) pitched six innings for the first time since Aug. 17, but allowed two homers in a start at Safeco Field for the first time this season.

“We were going up against a tough pitcher and he was better than me today,” Young said. “I made a couple of mistakes and he didn’t.”


Lester threw 101 pitches and walked four, but allowed just four hits and struck out seven in picking up his fifth victory since joining the A’s. He struggled with command from the start but was able to keep Seattle scoreless.

“These games sometimes mean more than the games you go out there and kind of walk through the lineup,” Lester said.


Moss had gone 39 games without a home run, a surprising drought after he hit 21 homers before the All-Star break. His 24 homers are second on the A’s roster behind Josh Donaldson.


Athletics: C Geovany Soto left Friday’s game with back spasms but is expected to be ready for Tuesday’s series opener with Texas.

Mariners: OF Dustin Ackley was already going to get Sunday off and not face Lester, but it also helped in managing his sore left foot. Ackley didn’t play on Saturday and McClendon hopes the two days off will lead to the soreness disappearing.


Athletics: After their final day off of the regular season, the A’s will start Scott Kazmir (14-8) in the opener against Texas on Tuesday night. Oakland shuffled its rotation and will have Kazmir, followed by Jeff Samardzija and Sonny Gray.

Mariners: Seattle begins a rugged 11-game road trip on Monday night against the Angels with Hiashi Iwakuma (14-7) pitching the opener of the four-game series.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Who’s that frog? A local high school tennis player, that’s who

Arlington tennis player Robbie Balderas worked as AquaSox mascot Webbly this season, and the busy junior also runs a landscaping business.

Mountlake Terrace’s Zaveon Jones is pulled to the ground by a diving Nicholas Mouser of Monroe on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Swarming Monroe defense keys win over Terrace in Wesco 3A South showdown

The Bearcats slow down the Hawks’ potent ground game, and quarterback Blake Springer tosses three TDs in a 35-10 victory.

Arlington players lift the Stilly Cup in the air after beating Stanwood on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington re-claims Stilly Cup after short hiatus, routs Stanwood 42-7

Leyton Martin registers 277 yards, 4 TDs as Eagles notch fifth straight game with at least six TDs.

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Marysville Pilchuck’s Dominik Kendrick (9) runs with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Marysville Pilchuck proud of 4-0 start, but has loftier goals

The Tomahawks aren’t listening to the outside noise, including a No. 1 WIAA RPI ranking, as a tough stretch lies ahead.

Stanwood players react to their coach bringing them the Stilly Cup on Sept. 30, 2022 in Arlington. The Spartans snapped a 12-game losing streak in the rivalry matchup last year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
4 games to watch in Week 5 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 5.

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) gestures to Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodríguez (44) after striking Rodríguez out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
MLB investigating Astros pitcher’s alleged use of homophobic slur

The incident occurred during a heated exchange between Houston’s Hector Neris and M’s star Julio Rodriguez on Wednesday night.

Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 28

Prep roundup for Thursday, Sept. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Most Read