Jarred Kelenic made a triumphant return to the major leagues with a home run, a double and two RBIs Thursday afternoon as the visiting Seattle Mariners overcame Julio Rodriguez’s recurring back issues to overpower the Oakland Athletics 9-5.
Adam Frazier chipped in with a go-ahead, two-run double in a three-run sixth for the Mariners (82-67), who temporarily moved into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card playoff position in the American League.
The Mariners flew to Kansas City after the game for another three-game series, one that might begin without Rodriguez, who pulled himself from Thursday’s contest in the bottom of the first because of soreness in his back. Rodriguez missed games last Saturday, Sunday and Monday with the same ailment.
Seattle found itself behind 5-4 headed into the sixth, but got into the Oakland bullpen after Ty France tripled to open the inning on starter Adrian Martinez’s final pitch.
Kelenic, who had homered in his previous at-bat, got the Mariners even with an RBI double. With two outs, Dylan Moore was intentionally walked, after which Frazier blooped his two-run double to give Seattle the lead for good.
The first run of the inning was charged to Martinez, closing the book on him with five runs and six hits allowed in five-plus innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
Kirby Snead (1-1), who served up Frazier’s double, was saddled with the loss.
Seattle added insurance runs in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by France, and in the eighth on a single by Frazier, pulling away as its bullpen was working 6 2/3 innings of two-hit, shutout ball.
Kelenic’s homer to lead off the fourth was his first since Aug. 3 and fifth of the season. He was demoted to Triple-A after his average fell to .124 on Aug. 10.
Oakland (55-95) scored all five of its runs off Seattle starter George Kirby and reliever Matt Brash in the third. Stephen Vogt had a bases-loaded triple, Shea Langeliers an RBI double and Tony Kemp an RBI single in the uprising that produced a 5-3 lead.
Matthew Boyd (2-0), who pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings, was credited with the win.
Having totaled just two runs and five hits in 4-1 and 2-1 losses to open the three-game set, the Mariners put up three runs and four hits in the first inning alone against Martinez. Rodriguez got it going with his double, after which he scored on a single by Mitch Haniger.
Kelenic, Haniger and France had two hits and two runs apiece for the Mariners, while Frazier finished with two hits and three RBIs, and Moore with two runs.
Langeliers, Kemp and Conner Capel collected two hits apiece for the A’s, who lost for just the second time in their last five games.
–Field Level Media