Mark Canha’s solo home run off reliever Shae Simmons in the ninth inning broke a 5-5 tie and lifted the A’s to a 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday in Oakland, Calif.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A new streak will have to start next season. After defeating the A’s in their previous eight meetings, the Mariners couldn’t extend it to nine in their final matchup of the 2017 season.
Mark Canha broke Oakland’s skid against Seattle with a walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Shae Simmons for a 6-5 victory.
It was the first homer the hard-throwing right-hander had allowed in eight appearances this season.
The Mariners fell to 77-82 — ensuring they will finish with a losing record — but were 12-7 vs. Oakland. The Mariners are off Thursday, then close out the season with a three-game series in Anaheim vs. the Angels.
“We had a quite a run against Oakland,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s hard to keep that going. There are going to be some things that turn against you.”
One of those came in the top of the ninth with the score tied 5-5. Mike Marjama, who had earlier notched his first big-league hit, doubled to right field on a blooper. He was lifted for pinch-runner Gordon Beckham.
Jacob Hannemann followed with a hard ground ball to shortstop. Beckham broke for third, which was ill-advised on a ball hit in front of him. Shortstop Marcus Semien fielded the grounder and fired it to third. But Beckham made a heady headfirst slide, lifting his arm to try to avoid the tag of third baseman Matt Chapman. Called out by third-base ump Ted Barrett, a replay review seemed to show Beckham might have avoided the tag and gotten his left hand to the bag. But after a replay review, there was not conclusive evidence to overrule the call, and it stood.
“It didn’t go in our favor,” Servais said. “As many times as you look at it, I guess it depends on what color of uniform you have on and how you saw the play. But I clearly thought his hand got in there. It was a big play in the game.”
The go-ahead run was out at third. The inning ended on Ben Gamel’s hard ground ball to first base.
Seattle was in position to win after Robinson Cano tied the score in the eighth inning with his 23rd homer of the season. Cano crushed a two-run shot to deep left-center off reliever Chris Hatcher.
In his final start of the season, Erasmo Ramirez gave the Mariners an uneven outing, pitching five innings and allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
A 31-pitch fourth inning in which the A’s scored three runs to break a 2-2 tie was a problem. A pair of errors, one by Ramirez, didn’t help.
“Not as sharp as he has been,” Servais said of Ramirez. “We didn’t play great defense behind him, and he committed one of the errors. One inning, I think we gave them five outs. You can’t do that in a big-league game.”
It was just the fourth time since returning to the Mariners that he didn’t pitch at least six innings. In 11 starts with Seattle, he posted a 1-4 record with a 3.92 ERA.
“I’m just happy to finish healthy and happy for the opportunity that Seattle gave to me,” Ramirez said. “I did my best every time I got the ball and the opportunity to start a game.”
Ramirez hopes to remain in the rotation for 2018.
“I showed them that they’ve got another option,” he said. “If they want me back in the rotation, at least I showed them I can work for that opportunity.”
Given the current depth chart of the organization, he’s slotted for a rotation spot with James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake next season. Though that could change given the always-expected manic offseason activity of general manager Jerry Dipoto.
“I’m really happy that he kind of stepped forward as a guy that can be in our rotation moving forward,” Servais said of Ramirez. “I’m happy how he’s been throwing the ball for us. It wasn’t his sharpest outing today, but overall it’s been pretty good.”
The Mariners trailed 2-0 after Ramirez allowed sacrifice flies in the first and third innings.
But Nelson Cruz tied the score at 2 in the fourth, yanking a line drive over the wall in left field for a two-run homer. The home run had an exit velocity of 117 mph. It was his 37th homer of the season, including his eighth against the A’s. In 19 games vs. Oakland, he hit .303 (20 for 66) with 25 RBI.