Cano hits 2 homers, Mariners tighten wild-card race, top A’s
SEATTLE (AP) — Robinson Cano hit two home runs, Taijuan Walker pitched six effective innings and the Seattle Mariners moved within one game of the second AL wild-card spot, beating the Oakland Athletics 5-1 Friday night.
Seattle, which has won seven of nine, is one game behind Toronto for the second spot. The Mariners also trail Detroit by a half-game.
Cano had a two-run homer in the first. He added his 38th home run in the third, a solo shot that gave him 100 RBIs for the season. Norichika Aoki and Nelson Cruz also homered off Raul Alcantara (1-3), who was tagged for five runs on seven hits in two-plus innings.
Walker (8-11) allowed one run on two hits in six innings, but walked five in a 113-pitch outing. The only run came on Ryon Healy’s 13th homer to open the sixth. Evan Scribner, Nick Vincent and Steve Cishek each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
Cano drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in center to give the Mariners to a 2-0 lead in the first after a leadoff infield single by Aoki.
Aoki made it 3-0 in the second with his fourth homer just inside the right field foul pole.
Cano opened the third with another home run to center and Cruz followed with his 42nd homer to make it 5-0.
The A’s loaded the bases in the fifth on two walks and a two-out error by second baseman Cano, but Walker retired Stephen Vogt on a popout.
Zach Neal came on for Alcantara with one aboard in the third and retired all 15 batters he faced.
Athletics: RF Danny Valencia was originally in the lineup, but was a late scratch due to neck soreness. Matt Olson started in right.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
There was a crew chief review of Cruz’s home run, which barely cleared the outstretched glove of center fielder Jake Smolinksi at the top of the wall, but then bounced back onto the field. The call was upheld after a review estimated at 2 minutes and 21 seconds.
MARINERS COMPLETE TRADE
Seattle sent minor league infielder Tim Lopes to Toronto to complete the Aug. 6 trade for reliever Pat Venditte. Lopes, 22, hit .284 with one home run and 49 RBIs with Double-A Jackson of the Southern League. Venditte, who pitches with either hand, is 0-0 with a 7.15 ERA in six appearances with Seattle.
Athletics: Rookie RHP Jharel Cotton (2-0, 1.44 ERA) makes his fifth career start since being called up from Triple-A Nashville on Sept. 7. He has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his four starts, lasting at least 5 2/3 innings in each.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (16-12, 3.96 ERA) has been Seattle’s most consistent pitcher over the course of the season. His 16 victories are a career high, but he is 2-5 in his last eight starts. Iwakuma is 4-0 against Oakland this season.