Sean Manaea pitched a four-hitter with eight strikeouts for his second shutout this season, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 6-0 on Wednesday night.
Mitch Moreland's two-run homer capped a five-run third inning, giving the A’s their third straight win and manager Bob Melvin his 800th with Oakland.
“The breaking ball was good, the changeup was good,” Melvin said of Manaea. “When he's got three pitches working together like that, he's a tough cat to beat.”
Mark Canha opened the scoring with a two-run double off starter Chris Flexen (5-3), then scored on Matt Olson’s RBI single. Moreland followed with his fifth home run of the season.
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“This team, it seems like we're good at building those big innings,” Moreland said. “Seems like we win a lot of games that way.”
Manaea (4-2) faced the minimum through the fourth with the help of a double play, one of three he got in the game. He loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Jake Fraley in the fifth, but ended Seattle’s only serious threat by retiring J.P. Crawford on a weak grounder.
Manaea was so comfortable on the mound, the animated pitcher even sang along to songs playing over the public-address system.
“I guess (I'm) being more comfortable with myself and who I am,” Manaea said. “I'm a little goofy. I'm a little weird.”
The left-hander threw 72 of 111 pitches for strikes and walked two batters in his third career complete game — all shutouts. He snapped a string of three straight no-decisions and has given up five runs over his last 26 2/3 innings.
Manaea threw a six-hitter in a seven-inning game for a 7-0 win over Minnesota in the opener of a doubleheader April 20. His other shutout came in 2018.
Melvin said Manaea's fastball velocity started around 96 mph and stayed up throughout the game. He thought about pulling his starter after the eighth, but wanted to give him the chance at a rare complete game in this era.
“To me that's a huge accomplishment,” Manaea said. “I wanted to stay in the game. When I came out in the eighth, I didn't even know how many pitches I'd thrown.”
Olson finished with three hits, and Canha added an RBI grounder in the ninth.
Everyone gave Oakland shortstop Elvis Andrus credit for that five-run third inning, though he didn't drive in a run. Andrus made Flexen throw 13 pitches during his at-bat before doubling, putting runners at second and third for Canha. Manaea called the at-bat “insane” and Moreland said it spurred the rest of the inning.
Seattle manager Scott Servais agreed.
“That 13-pitch at-bat by Elvis Andrus, I think that really turned the game in their favor,” Servais said.
Oakland outfielder Stephen Piscotty was chosen the 2021 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winner for his work fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease that killed the New York Yankees’ Hall of Fame player the award is named for. ALS also claimed the life of Piscotty’s mother, Gretchen, in 2018. Piscotty and his family started the ALS CURE Project to help fight the disease. Piscotty will receive the award next Tuesday in Oakland.
“What an honor, and deservedly so,” Melvin said. “He’s done so much for it, obviously his history and what’s transpired since he’s been here revolving around his mom, and we’re all touched by it.”
Mariners: RHP Justin Dunn (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Dunn is the fourth pitcher from Seattle’s season-opening rotation to go to the IL, and the sixth overall. He was scheduled to pitch Friday at the Los Angeles Angels. Seattle called up RHP Robert Dugger from Triple-A Tacoma to fill the roster spot. ... CF Kyle Lewis is seeking a second opinion before deciding what to do about the torn meniscus in his right knee. Servais said the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year’s decision could come in the next day or two. ... Servais also said utility player Dylan Moore (left calf strain) is a few days from starting a rehab assignment at Tacoma.
Athletics: Oakland has Thursday off before RHP Frankie Montas (5-5, 4.45 ERA) opens a series at Colorado. He’s trying to stop a career-worst three-game losing streak.
Mariners: LHP Justus Sheffield (4-4, 4.96) looks for his second straight win as Seattle starts a trip at the Los Angeles Angels.
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