SEATTLE -- A sudden power surge by the Oakland Athletics carried them to a third straight victory.
Mark Ellis and Jack Cust hit back-to-back homers to lead the Athletics over Seattle 5-3 on Saturday night, handing the Mariners their 100th loss.Chris Carter also connected for the A's, who have outhomered the Mariners 7-1 in the first three games of the four-game set. Both teams entered the series with a major league-low 100 homers."You wouldn't predict that, especially at this field," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "It's not a field that you come in and hit seven homers in three games. But I hope it continues one more day."The Mariners have lost 100 games two of the last three seasons and five times in their 34-year history."We went through it a couple of years ago as well," Seattle interim manager Daren Brown said. "It's not easy. But I think anything that is that tough mentally and the things you go through like that make you stronger in the future."Brett Anderson (7-6) earned his fourth win in his last six starts. He allowed eight hits and two runs with six strikeouts and one walk in seven innings. He beat the Mariners for the third time."He had a real good finish to a solid season for him," Geren said. "He had a very strong second half after coming off the DL. He's going to go into the offseason healthy. He's going take some rest, train and come back real strong next season."Carter hit a two-run homer in the fifth to put the A's up 4-1.Ellis and Cust hit consecutive solo homers in the fourth to give the A's a 2-0 lead after David Pauley had retired his first 11 batters.The homer by Cust glanced off the glove of left fielder Michael Saunders and off the top of the wall. He swung on a 3-0 pitch."I hoped it had gone farther but it got far enough I guess for him to tip it in," Cust said. "I wish I could swing every time 3-0. That's a good count to hit in. I was trying to hit a home run."Saunders figured he had a chance to catch the ball."I tried to time my jump," Saunders said. "I'm not sure whether or not the ball was going out. But I had it on the tip of my glove and it was the impact of the wall and it kind of slipped out of there. Initially, I thought I had it."Pauley (4-9) gave up all three homers. He allowed four hits and four runs in seven innings.Seattle's Justin Smoak had two doubles and an RBI to extend his career-high hitting streak to nine games.Greg Halman hit a run-scoring infield single in the sixth off Anderson to cut the lead to 4-2.Saunders hit a solo homer in the ninth off Craig Breslow to make it 5-3. Breslow earned his fourth save when he retired Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins with a runner on.Josh Wilson led off the seventh with a double, but Anderson retired the next three batters to end the threat."There was a runner on second with nobody out so I was trying to scrap to keep them from getting to third with less than two outs," Anderson said. "I was able to get some ground balls to third to keep them there and get some strikeouts when I needed to and I'll take it. It was a grind like my last three starts but the results are pretty good and it was a good team win."Anderson entered 2-1 with a 0.68 ERA in four starts this season against the Mariners.
Seattle will start Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-10) on Sunday after deciding Thursday to shut down Felix Hernandez for the year. ... Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who was the DH, has yet to commit an error this season. The center fielder will set a major league record with most chances (415) in a season without an error if he plays errorless ball Sunday. Curt Flood has the record of 396 set in 1966 with St. Louis. ... Oakland needs a win Sunday to avoid a fourth consecutive losing season. ... Oakland's Rajai Davis stole two bases to give him 50 for the season, nine more than his previous career high set last year.