OAKLAND — Jed Lowrie called it “playoff baseball,” and the A’s all-star second baseman seems to have shifted into postseason gear.
“It should be fun,” Lowrie said before the A’s faced the Mariners on Monday night in the first of 10 meetings between the AL West contenders before season’s end. “There’s a lot of pressure all the way around. I’m not one to judge who’s got more.”
If Lowrie was feeling any heat, he channeled it in a positive fashion, driving in four runs as the A’s held off the Mariners 7-6 in front of an announced crowd of just 10,400 to extend their margin over Seattle and creep closer to division-leading Houston.
Matt Chapman shared the marquee, hitting three doubles to tie a franchise record, including a two-run line drive down the left-field line that stretched Oakland’s lead to 6-1 in the sixth inning. Lowrie following with a pool-cue shot past third base for his second double of the game, scoring Chapman.
With the A’s leading 7-3, reliever Jeurys Familia walked the bases loaded to open the ninth before giving way to closer Blake Treinen.
Treinen allowed one run on a wild pitch, then two more on a single by Mitch Haniger that closed the margin to one run. But he struck out Cameron Maybin and Nelson Cruz to end things.
With their 10th win in the past 12 games, the A’s improved to 71-48 and have a 2 1/2-game margin over the Mariners (69-51) for the second AL wild card spot. The idle world champion Astros (73-46), who come to town for three games beginning Friday, now lead the AL West by just two games.
“The intensity starts to build,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin, whose team won for the 37th time in 49 games. “For us, we had to come a long way to …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports