SEATTLE (AP) -- After manager John McLaren lost his cool, the
Seattle Mariners lost again.
The Oakland Athletics handed the free-falling Mariners their
15th defeat in 17 games, breaking away after McLaren was ejected
for a 7-4 victory Tuesday night. Seattle dropped 6½ games behind the New York Yankees in the AL
wild-card race with 19 games left. General manager Bill Bavasi met
with McLaren for the second straight night, then with the entire
coaching staff. "I'm frustrated. We are getting frustrated, let's be honest
about it," McLaren said after his third ejection in 65 games since
taking over when Mike Hargrove abruptly resigned on July 1. "I
don't know what else to say." McLaren was tossed in the fourth inning after Jarrod Washburn
walked Donnie Murphy with the bases loaded to tie the score at 1-1. Plate
umpire Chris Guccione called ball four on a pitch that appeared
well off the plate and Washburn shouted "that's not inside!" and
punctuated it with an expletive. McLaren got ejected while yelling from the dugout, and he came
out to confront the umpire, who rolled his eyes and looked away.
McLaren pointed both his index fingers toward Guccione's chest. When crew chief Tom Hallion intervened, McLaren yelled at him,
too, before stomping off to the night's loudest cheers from the
home crowd. "I took up for Wash," McLaren said. "I just want these guys
to know I'm behind them." Washburn then walked Kurt Suzuki to force in a second run and
Shannon Stewart's two-run single made it 4-1. Mark Ellis tied a career high with four hits while Mike Piazza
and Stewart each had three hits and two RBIs. Ellis credited not chasing as many bad pitches as the reason he
has 10 hits in his last three games -- the last Oakland player to do
that was Carney Lansford in 1998. "It is quite an accomplishment," A's manager Bob Geren said.
"It couldn't happen to a better guy." Ellis' streak of 102 straight games without an error, an A's
record for a second baseman, came to an end. Relievers Ruddy Lugo (6-0), Andrew Brown, Alan Embreeand Huston Street shut out the Mariners over the final 4 2/3 innings. After walking Jose Lopez to load the bases in the seventh, Brown
struck out Yuniesky Betancourt on three pitches to strand the tying
runs. Street got his 14th save in 18 chances by finishing the
ninth. Washburn (9-14) allowed six runs on eight hits and a season
high-tying five walks in 5 2/3 innings. He is 17-28 with a 4.58 ERA in 60 starts over his first two
seasons in Seattle. Not quite what the Mariners were seeking when
they gave him $37 million for four years. Washburn declined to talk to reporters after the game. Washburn would have escaped having allowed only four runs and a
no-decision -- but reliever Eric O'Flaherty walked Nick Swisher to
load the bases and Piazza blooped a two-run single that put Oakland
up 6-4. Sean Green entered and promptly allowed Ellis' fourth hit, which
scored Swisher to make it 7-4. That was the 10th hit in 14 at-bats
for Ellis. Seattle took a 1-0 lead on Adrian Beltre's 24th home run off a
changeup from Dallas Braden in third, a drive into the third row of
the second deck. The Mariners tied it in the fifth after Ichiro Suzuki led off
with a single and Braden balked him to second. Raul Ibanez singled
one out later to make it 4-2. Ibanez scored following consecutive
singles by Jose Guillen and Kenji Johjima. Johjima created the tying run when he extended both arms skyward
to break up a potential double-play grounder by Jose Vidro.
Shortstop Murphy's throw banged off Johjima's left wrist, resulting
in only a force out and an RBI for Vidro that tied it at 4. Johjima left the game with a bruised left wrist. McLaren said
"it's a lot better than we thought," though Johjima is unlikely
to play Wednesday.
Braden allowed eight hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
He struck out one and still has not had a victory since his first
start of the season, April 24. ... An MRI exam showed that the left
hamstring that kept Seattle 1B Richie Sexson out for the ninth time
in 11 games has tendinitis. He will continue physical therapy.