OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Seattle Mariners still face long odds to make the playoffs this year, but after winning their season-high fifth consecutive game and sweeping the Oakland A's on Sunday afternoon, they have renewed hope.
Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma gave up one run over 6 1/3 innings, and the Mariners defeated the A's 3-2 at the O.co Coliseum.
Seattle finished 7-3 on its 10-game road trip and moved within six games of the Texas Rangers for the American League's second wild-card spot.
"We're playing extremely hard," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We're getting timely hitting. The guys are doing a good job, but we got a long ways to go."
The Mariners open a four-game series against Texas on Monday at Safeco Field, giving them a chance to make more headway.
"This is a good group of guys in here," Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager said. "We have a lot of players that have a lot of talent. We didn't play as well as we'd like to at the beginning, but the confidence in each other never wavered."
Iwakuma (7-3) allowed only five hits while working on two extra days of rest. He walked one and struck out three.
"I was able to command both sides, up and down," Iwakuma said. "I took advantage of the two days off. Overall, it worked out well."
Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen got the final five outs for his 10th save of the season.
Second baseman Brad Miller went 2-for-4 and scored a run for the Mariners. Rookie center fielder Shawn O'Malley went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run.
A's designated hitter Billy Butler went 2-for-4 and hit his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot off Iwakuma in the seventh inning. First baseman Mark Canha and center fielder Billy Burns added two hits apiece.
Rookie left-hander Sean Nolin (0-1) made his A's debut and second major league start, allowing three runs on five hits over six innings. He walked three, struck out one and threw 85 pitches, 50 for strikes.
"It was a pretty good day overall," said Nolin, who came to the A's from the Toronto Blue Jays during the offseason as part of a package for third baseman Josh Donaldson. "The fifth (inning) was not the best. Had a few walks. I was nitpicking a little bit, not wanting to give up the big hit. "
The A's lost their fifth straight game and also lost catcher Stephen Vogt for at least a few games and possibly more to an injury. Vogt left the game in the top of the eighth inning after being hit by a foul ball in the groin. He walked off the field in pain with the help of two trainers and was taken to a hospital.
"He's going to have some tests done," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It will be at least a few days. He was in a lot of pain."
Carson Blair replaced Vogt and made his major league debut.
The Mariners took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning. First baseman Logan Morrison lined a leadoff single. Miller grounded a single to right, but Morrison was thrown out at third by right fielder Jake Smolinski, who fired a one-hop strike to third baseman Danny Valencia. Morrison slowed up at third and didn't slide.
"I think Valencia did a good job of dekeing me," Morrison said. "I didn't know the ball was coming. Should have slid."
First base coach Chris Woodward filled in for third base coach Rich Donnelly, who was out with a stomach ailment. Although Woodward gave Morrison the stop sign but no indication to hit the dirt, Morrison said he was looking at Valencia and took full blame for not sliding.
"We probably should have lost the ballgame," McClendon said.
Nolin walked catcher Jesus Sucre and O'Malley, loading the bases. Shortstop Ketel Marte brought Miller home with a bloop single. Seager drove in Sucre with a sacrifice fly, and O'Malley scored on a passed ball.
Oakland cut Seattle's lead to 3-1 in the seventh when Butler homered to right-center field with one out. The A's had runners on first and third with one out, but right-hander Tony Zych struck out pinch hitter Marcus Semien and retired Burns on a fly ball to shallow center.
The A's sliced Seattle's lead to 3-2 with a run in the eighth. Canha grounded a leadoff single to left off Logan Kensing, and Blair walked. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, and Canha scored on Valencia's groundout to Marte.
Wilhelmsen took over and retired second baseman Brett Lawrie on a popup and Butler on a ground ball. In the ninth, Wilhelmsen gave up back-to-back, two-out singles to Semien and Burns before retiring Canha on a line drive to left fielder Seth Smith.
"It was hit well," Wilhelmsen said. "When I saw Seth Smith come up with it, I was very relieved."
NOTES: Mariners RF Nelson Cruz (strained right quad) missed a third consecutive game. Manager Lloyd McClendon hopes Cruz will be available for the Texas series that starts Monday. ... Seattle LF Franklin Gutierrez (strained groin) sat out for the second game in a row. Gutierrez, who was injured Friday night and left that game in the second inning, is day-to-day. ... Athletics RF Josh Reddick (illness) was out of the lineup, but he entered as a pinch hitter and stayed in the game. ... The Athletics' upcoming home series against Houston features a marquee pitching matchup Tuesday when Oakland RHP Sonny Gray faces Astros LHP Scott Kazmir. Kazmir will face the A's for the first time since they traded him in July.