Oakland, CA – Two teams vying for a spot in the playoffs and the competition is only getting better. It’s starting to feel like a playoff atmosphere. The Mariners scored five runs scored in both the eighth and ninth frames to cut the lead down to one. But the A’s held them off for the 7-6 victory.
Matt Chapman hit three doubles tying a franchise record. His third double down the left field line drove in three runs extending Oakland’s lead 6-1. It was enough space to breathe but that lead didn’t last long.
“It was fun until the eighth inning,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Seattle scored two runs in the eighth and the ninth began to unravel for the A’s. Jeurys Familia replaced Lou Trevino and walked three batters loading the bases. Familia was then replaced by Blake Treinen who struck out the next batter.
A wild pitch drove in Ryon Healy, Mitch Hangier followed with a RBI single scoring in two more runs. Treinen stayed calm and struck out Cameron Maybin. Jean Segura singled and Nelson Cruz struck out swinging to end the game.
“No lead is big enough, especially this time of year,” Chapman said. “We fought just as much as them till the last out, and I was glad we were able to come away with the win today, but we know what they are capable of, and we just gotta keep grinding.”
Oakland got off to a great start when Chapman doubled in the first inning and Jed Lowrie drove him in. By the second the A’s added three more runs when Lowrie’s double scored in both Marcus Semien and Chapman. Stephen Piscotty’s single drove in Chapman making it a 4-0 game.
For the first time in a long time, Oakland is in a race for the playoffs. Three teams in the American League stay close as the regular season comes to a close. With roughly two months left in the season, Seattle is now 2 1/2 games behind the A’s in the race for the second AL wild-card spot.
Oakland is two games behind the Houston Astros who lead the AL West, and three games behind the New York Yankees. The Astros come to town at the end of the week for a three-game series. The Yankees make their first appearance Labor Day weekend at the Coliseum.
“It’s really the one and true race I think with multiple teams,” said Melvin before the game. “Seattle is playing great and you don’t go into Houston taking four very often. And coming off of a tough stretch they’re doing what they’ve been doing all year long winning close games. They have a lot of confidence doing that. Now we’re going to have to play our best to beat them.”
The A’s take nothing for granted, the Mariners just swept the Astro four-games over the weekend and look to continue their winning ways. Meanwhile Oakland is keeping pace. Mike Fiers faces off against James Paxton on the mound tomorrow for game two of the series.