SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners won for the 10th time in 11 games and remained in the thick of the AL wildcard race with a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
Ty France’s sacrificial ball in the seventh inning gave Seattle the lead and Abraham Toro added some cushioning with his first home run since Aug. 31 with two strikeouts in the eighth inning.
Seattle remained one-half game behind Boston for the second wildcard location and is 1 1/2 games behind New York for first place, trying to end a 20-year drought since last time. he made the playoffs. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before starting their final regular-season series at home against the Los Angeles Angles.
Seattle won its 12th straight game against Oakland, the longest winning streak against a single team in franchise history, and knocked the As out of the playoffs. The A’s had made the playoffs three years in a row and six of the last nine.
The Mariners also delayed Houston to win the AL West for at least one more day. The Astros’ magic number remained at one.
France’s sacrifice fly led Dylan Moore, who rose to scoring position thanks to a perfectly executed hit-and-run from JP Crawford. And while France narrowly missed a home run, Toro’s strike went over the wall for his 11th of the season.
It was a window into Seattle’s bright future that set the stage for the late push.
Rookie Logan Gilbert allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings in the biggest start of his young career to date. The 24-year-old has scattered three hits, two on goals and four on catches. Gilbert finished September with a 2.70 ERA in six starts.
And fellow rookie Jarred Kelenic netted a two-run double in the sixth inning to put Seattle the lead after leading just four baserunners against Oakland starter Frankie Montas in the first five innings.
The Seattle relievers’ pen was once again solid, with the exception of Diego Castillo (5-5) allowing Seth Brown a solo homerun in the seventh inning. Paul Sewald walked around a walk with two strikeouts in the eighth inning and Drew Steckenrider pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Andrew Chafin (2-4) suffered the loss for Oakland working the seventh inning. But it was botched mistakes by second baseman Tony Kemp and shortstop Josh Harrison in the sixth inning that helped Kelenic secure the brace that gave Seattle a 2-1 lead.
Kemp provided Gilbert the only score with a homerun early in the sixth inning.
Athletics: INF Elvis Andrus underwent surgery in Arlington, Texas to repair the broken left leg he suffered in the victory over the Astros last week. Andrus had an “internal fixation” to the fibula and a “tightrope” procedure to repair a sprained upper ankle. The team anticipates that Andrus will be ready for the start of spring training next February. … A manager Bob Melvin said the team had not decided whether RHP Chris Bassitt would make the final series against Houston.
Athletics: Oakland will close the regular season which begins Friday night in Houston. LHP Sean Manaea (10-10, 3.94) will open the game.
Mariners: After a day off, Seattle opens its final series Friday night against the Angels. LHP Marco Gonzales (10-5, 4.00) is scheduled for kickoff.