Ripon Bulletin - - Sports -

LeBlanc pitches 7 score­less in­nings, Mariners cruise past A’s ▶

OAK­LAND (AP) — Hav­ing fin­ished his warmups just be­fore first pitch, Seat­tle lefty Wade LeBlanc wasn’t wor­ried about stiff­en­ing up while watch­ing the Mariners score five runs in the first in­ning.

If any­thing, LeBlanc was more en­er­gized from the ex­tra rest.

LeBlanc pitched seven score­less in­nings, Mitch Haniger hit his 23rd home run and Seat­tle jumped on the Oak­land Ath­let­ics early and held on for a 7-1 vic­tory on Thurs­day night.

“I’m en­joy­ing that,” LeBlanc said of the Mariners’ big in­ning. “You don’t ever want to go out to the mound when guys are rolling like that.”

Robin­son Cano had two hits and an RBI af­ter be­ing dropped down a spot in the bat­ting or­der af­ter sec­ond base­man Jean Se­gura was scratched. Dee Gor­don and Ryon Healy added two hits apiece.

Seat­tle had lost three straight and five of seven be­fore tak­ing the opener of this four-game series. The Mariners pulled within 4 1/2 games of the A’s for the sec­ond AL wild card. Oak­land re­mains 2 1/2 back of Hous­ton for first place in the AL West.

“We strug­gled a lit­tle bit the last few days and the only way to get that be­hind you is to go out and play a good ball­game,”

Seat­tle man­ager Scott Ser­vais said. “Tonight that’s what we did.”

Jed Lowrie had an RBI sin­gle for the A’s.

LeBlanc (8-3) al­lowed three hits and three walks with four strike­outs. He re­tired 12 of his fi­nal 13 bat­ters to win for the sec­ond time in his last seven starts.

Adam War­ren and Nick Vin­cent re­tired three bat­ters each to com­plete the four-hit­ter.

“Wasn’t as sharp as the last start,” LeBlanc said. “Wasn’t as crisp stuff-wise but when you have a guy like (catcher Mike Zunino) back there and you have an of­fense put­ting up runs like that, it makes it kind of easy to go out there, be ag­gres­sive and miss over the plate as op­posed to be­ing overly care­ful.”

Haniger home­red off Frankie Mon­tas (5-4) with one out in the fourth. He also sin­gled lead­ing off the game, ex­tend­ing his sea­son-high hit­ting streak to 11 games. Haniger went into the day lead­ing the AL with 38 hits this month.

The Mariners scored five runs with two outs and took ad­van­tage of a throw­ing er­ror by third base­man Matt Chap­man in the first in­ning.

“It wasn’t just him,” A’s man­ager Bob Melvin said. “We had an off-game all the way around.”

Cano dou­bled and scored on Healy’s sin­gle be­fore Ben Gamel drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-0.

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