A switch-hitter who owns a .387 average against left-handers, Kielty broke an eighth-inning tie by hitting a leadoff homer against lefty Ron Villone (2-3) for his first home run since May 30. All 11 of Kielty's homers since he came over from Toronto in a trade before last season have either tied the game or put the A's ahead.
"I think maybe sometimes I take better at-bats when it's a closer game," Kielty said. "When the game's out of hand, I may not prepare and battle like I can. But I think that goes for anybody. When you have the opportunity to win the game or pick up the team in a clutch situation, you bear down a little more."
He also might have been motivated by a called strikeout in the sixth inning. He thought two of the pitches in the at-bat were balls but didn't get the calls.
"I had some serious rage going on inside me," Kielty added. "That home run really made my day."
The A's, last in the majors in home runs before the game, hit three to give them 48 this season. That ties them with the Mariners. Nick Swisher also had a solo shot in the fifth. Seattle's staff had allowed just four homers in the first 16 games of June.
Dan Haren (5-7), who pitched eight strong innings, benefited from the eighth-inning outburst as the suddenly resurgent A's won for the seventh time in 10 games. Haren, acquired from St. Louis last offseason in the Mark Mulder deal, gave up six hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out six in winning his fourth straight decision.
"I thought Dan had great stuff tonight," A's manager Ken Macha said. "He only allowed one base on balls and trusted his defense behind him."
Swisher provided some of that defense with a fine play in the sixth on Jeremy Reed's high fly to the warning track in right. Swisher, with his back to the wall, leaped over the yellow line to bring back a potential home run.
"At first I thought it was out, but it came right down," Swisher said. "The best thing about it was I was able to help the pitcher."
Reed did his share on defense as well. He made one of the finest catches of the season in the fifth when he robbed Dan Johnson in
the right-center gap. As Reed tracked the drive, he leaped at the final moment and caught the ball, landing hard on his elbow and left hip on the warning track. Reed also had a nice catch in the second, slamming into the wall on a full run to take away at least
a double from Kotsay.
"That was a homer," Macha said of Swisher's catch. "Of course, Reed also made two great catches. It was a well-played game. Great defensive plays."
Mariners starter Aaron Sele, who was 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA in his previous six starts, had another decent outing. He went six innings, allowing seven hits and two runs.
Two-out doubles by Johnson and Swisher put the A's ahead 1-0 in the second. But Seattle came right back in the bottom half. With one out, Reed hooked an 0-1 pitch from Haren into the right field corner. Jose Lopez, breaking for second on the pitch, came all the way around to score without a throw. Then Mike Morse was hit by a pitch, pushing Reed to second.
With two outs, Ichiro Suzuki hit a hard single through the left side and Reed was waved around. Jason Kendall tried to block the plate with his left foot, but Reed slid safely into his legs and ahead of Kendall's sweeping tag. Kendall and Macha protested, but umpire Brian O'Nora quickly dismissed them.
The A's tied it at 2 in the fifth on Swisher's home run into the right field seats on the first pitch from Sele. It was Swisher's second home run in four games, and it was the first time in three starts that Sele had allowed more than one run.
Morse, steady in 16 starts at shortstop since arriving from the minors on May 31, saved a potential run in the sixth with a bold decision. Eric Chavez opened the inning with a double. Scott Hatteberg then hit a hard grounder behind second. Morse snagged it, turned quickly and threw ahead of the runner to third for the out. Instead of a runner on third and one out, the A's were denied a rally.
Over the past 11 games, Mariners starters are 6-1 with a 2.12 ERA. ... The A's threatened in the seventh, but Villone retired pinch-hitter Keith Ginter with the bases loaded to end the inning.