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Four hits was all it took for Seattle Mariners to end four-game losing streak

By Gene Warnick, The Sports Xchange
Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo gave up three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Photo courtesy Seattle Mariners/Twitter
Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo gave up three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Photo courtesy Seattle Mariners/Twitter

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners made the most of their four hits Monday night.

Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager each hit two-run homers, and the Mariners held on to defeat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 at Safeco Field.

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Seattle snapped a four-game losing streak and sent the A's to their fourth straight defeat, but not without some tense moments in the ninth inning.

Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, who surrendered a solo homer to Toronto's Kevin Pillar in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss Sunday, failed to get the save on Monday. He walked four consecutive batters with one out in the ninth as Oakland climbed within 6-4.

Tony Zych came on and got Khris Davis, who homered earlier, to ground to shortstop for the second out as another run scored. After an intentional walk to Yonder Alonso, Zych caught Adam Rosales looking at a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch to earn his first major league save.

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"A back-door sinker," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of the last pitch. "You know out of his hand it looks like a ball, and whether it came back enough or not, it's maybe too close to take."

The Mariners made it through the eighth with relievers Steve Cishek, Marc Rzepczynski and Nick Vincent each getting one out.

With one out in the ninth, Diaz walked Chad Pinder and Rajai Davis, the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters in the Oakland order, and then leadoff hitter Matt Joyce, loading the bases. A walk to Jed Lowrie scored a run and led to Diaz's exit.

"It got a little tight in the bullpen tonight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "The eighth inning kind of went how we mapped it out, but in the ninth we couldn't find the strike zone.

"Zych did a great job, considering he was supposed to be (off) tonight. But Eddie didn't look like he was going to be able to make his way through it."

Zych found the Mariners' "Swelmet," which teammates award to the key player in a victory, sitting in his chair after the game.

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"As a reliever, you've always got to be ready no matter what," Zych said. "You just have to trust your stuff and go at 'em."

As for the last pitch?

"I knew it was close," Zych said. "I got real excited when (plate umpire Carlos Torres) called it (a strike). We've got an unbelievable closer in Eddie, but he just didn't have his stuff.

"It was a big win for us. Everyone was jacked up after the game."

Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo (2-3) gave up three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two, struck out five and didn't allow a hit until Davis homered to straightaway center field on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the fourth inning.

Gallardo got into trouble in the fifth, when Trevor Plouffe led off with a single up the middle and Vogt homered to right field on an 0-2 pitch, cutting the Mariners' lead to 4-3. It was Vogt's second homer of the season -- his first since Opening Day.

Gallardo got out of the inning by getting Pinder to look at a called third strike, Davis to tap a chopper back to the mound and Joyce to fly out to the wall in left-center field.

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"Gallardo had his best fastball all year and got us deep in the game," Servais said.

Seager's homer off reliever Liam Hendriks with one on in the eighth gave Seattle a 6-3 lead and proved decisive.

Oakland starter Sean Manaea, activated from the disabled list (strained left shoulder) earlier in the day, showed signs of rust.

Manaea (1-3) walked five in the first two innings, with two of those runners scoring as Seattle took a 4-0 advantage.

After the Mariners' Segura extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff single in the first, Manaea walked Guillermo Heredia and Cruz to load the bases.

Manaea struck out cleanup hitter Seager for the first out, but then walked Danny Valencia to force in a run. A strikeout of Taylor Motter was followed by another walk, to Ben Gamel, to make it 2-0.

Manaea struck out the side in the inning, fanning Tuffy Gosewisch to leave the bases loaded.

It was more of the same in the second as, with one out, Manaea walked Segura. After striking out Heredia, Cruz homered to straightaway center to give the Mariners a 4-0 lead. Manaea struck out Seager to end the inning, his fifth strikeout to go with the five walks to that point.

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In five innings, Manaea allowed four runs on two hits with five walks and seven strikeouts.

"You know what, he was rusty at the beginning, and I'm surprised we got five innings out of him," Melvin said.

NOTES: Seattle RHP Steve Cishek made his 2017 debut after offseason hip surgery, retiring the only batter he faced. He was activated from the disabled list earlier Monday. ... SS Adam Rosales, who started 25 of Oakland's 26 games since Marcus Semien was injured, wasn't in the lineup Monday. He entered as a pinch runner and later struck out. ... Mariners 2B Robinson Cano, who missed the four-game series in Toronto with a sore right quadriceps, again was a scratch. Seattle scored just six runs without Cano in being swept by the Blue Jays. Manager Scott Servais said Cano did some running on the field Monday, and Servais had hoped to pencil him into the lineup for the series opener against the A's.

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