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Straily, Athletics can't beat King Felix

Saturday - 4/5/2014, 8:40pm  ET

Seattle Mariners' Logan Morrison fouls off a pitch from Oakland Athletics' Dan Straily in the inning of a baseball game on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

RICK EYMER
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Dan Straily last appeared in a game over two weeks ago. His final spring training start was rained out.

He pitched well enough to win most games, but not well enough when the other team starts Felix Hernandez, the former Cy Young Award winner who has dominated Oakland over the years.

Hernandez took a shutout into the ninth inning and settled for a six-hitter over 8 1/3 innings as the Seattle Mariners beat the Athletics 3-1 on Saturday.

Straily (0-1) recorded a quality start, giving up three runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out seven.

Straily was done in by two pitches, which resulted in Mariners' home runs to Dustin Ackley and Abraham Almonte. He gave up all three runs, and four hits, in the fifth.

"It was disappointing," Straily said. "A two-seamer comes back over the plate and I yanked one. I did a good job of executing the game plan minus those two pitches."

Jed Lowrie singled with two outs in the fourth for the A's first hit and then hit a home run leading off the ninth to end Hernandez's bid for a shutout. Brandon Moss also collected two hits against the Mariners' ace.

"It seemed like he was trying to get a curveball over for strike one," Lowrie said of his home run. "I was able to see it well and put a good swing on it."

Lowrie also struck out and popped up against Hernandez.

"He had great stuff," Lowrie said. "If you fall behind a guy like that, he's going to make it tough on you. That's the best I've seen him. He was keeping the ball down and moving it to both sides of the plate. He was just really good."

A's manager Bob Melvin liked the way Straily attacked the Mariners' hitters.

"I thought he was good," Melvin said. "Early on he was throwing a lot of fastballs by them. All of a sudden they start to get good swings against. Trying to go in on Ackley he didn't get it far enough in and then Almonte hit a ball really good. Other than those couple of swings, I thought he pitched well."

Hernandez (2-0) retired the first 11 batters on the way to his 16th career win over the Athletics, his most against any team.

Straily carried a shutout into the fifth inning before Ackley's towering two-run shot gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Almonte drove Straily's pitch even deeper into the right field bleachers

"After seeing him a couple of times you get used to what he's got and can throw out better at bats," Ackley said. "There was a runner on third, maybe he's thinking about him, and gives me a pitch to hit."

The way Hernandez was pitching, the run support was more than enough.

"I'd say for seven innings that might be the best we've seen him," Melvin said. "It seemed like his fastball had a little extra hop and he mixed in his breaking stuff well."

Coco Crisp tripled with one out in the sixth but was stranded there when Josh Donaldson struck out and Lowrie popped out.

NOTES: RHP Sonny Gray (0-0, 0.00) will start Sunday's series finale against the Mariners. He's working on a 13-inning scoreless streak dating to last year after pitching six innings in the season opener. . Erasmo Ramirez (1-0, 2.57) starts for the Mariners. He gave up two runs on six hits over seven innings in his first start. . Cano is batting .342 (27 for 79) in his last 19 games in Oakland. . The A's first four games averaged 3 hours, 29 minutes. . Hernandez is 5-0 in his last 10 games in Oakland. . Yoenis Cespedes, who has hit 10 homers against Seattle pitching, hit a ball into the left field bleachers in the ninth that curved foul a pitch before flying out to right.


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