By Cameron Van Til
The Associated Press
SEATTLE — The A’s built an early lead on home runs by Seth Brown and Shea Langeliers Tuesday night, then hung on to defeat the Seattle Mariners for the first time this season when closer Trevor May struck out Eugenio Suarez with the tying runners in scoring position to preserve a 3-1 victory.
The major league-worst A’s ended the Mariners’ two-day stay alone atop the AL West by hanging on for their first win in nine games this season against Seattle.
“We’re definitely in the seat of spoiler and we want to ruin as many dreams as possible,” said May, who was born in Longview, Wash., two hours away from Seattle.
Seattle had won 12 of its previous 13 games, turning a 7 1/2-game deficit into a one-game lead over Texas. The Rangers won 2-1 at the New York Mets, matching the Mariners at 75-57. Houston is a percentage point back at 76-58.
Star Seattle outfielder Julio Rodríguez was scratched of a pinched nerve in his left foot that left him day to day, and starting pitcher George Kirby was scratched before the game because of illness and replaced by Luke Weaver (2-5). First baseman Ty France left after two innings with a bruised left thumb sustained on a pickoff.
“Stuff happens,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We play so many games. We’ve been on such a hot streak where everything kind of has gone our way. So (there’s) gonna be a little bump in the road, a little adversity.”
Oakland Athletics’ Seth Brown high-fives teammates after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Brown hit a solo shot in the first inning for Oakland’s first run of the series and his first homer since July 22. Langeliers added a two-run drive in the second for Oakland (39-94). It was Langeliers’ fifth homer in his past eight games.
“We all know Shea has the ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark, and it was a long stretch for him trying to figure out and make adjustments,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “I think his swing looks great right now.”
Seattle’s Cade Marlowe drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth from Ken Waldichuk, who allowed one hit in four innings.
Sean Newcomb (1-0), the third of six A’s pitchers, struck out four in 1 2/3 innings for his first win with Oakland.
May got his 15th save in 18 chances, finishing a four-hitter by firing a 94 mph fastball past Suarez with runners at second and third after J.P. Crawford’s two-out double.
“The bullpen came in and did an unbelievable job,” Kotsay said. “That’s a game this year that we’ve seen — our offense scoring early and not adding on, and us not being able to hold the lead. And so tonight was a great sign of the progress we’ve made.”
Weaver allowed seven hits in 3 2/3 innings in his first start with Seattle. The 30-year-old right-hander signed with the Mariners last Tuesday after being released by Cincinnati.
“(Kirby) was sick most of the night and just felt terrible today and when he came in, we just felt best that we move on and not pitch him in the ballgame tonight,” Servais said. “George loves to be out there. He’s an awesome competitor, but we’ve gotta do the right thing. He was under the weather.”
The announced attendance of 44,280 was the largest Tuesday crowd at T-Mobile Park since Seattle’s 2014 home opener.
Seattle rookie RHP Bryce Miller (8-4, 3.90 ERA) takes the mound for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale. Oakland counters with RHP Zach Neal (1-0, 6.88), who made his first major league start since 2016 last Friday.