SEATTLE (AP) — Ramon Laureano broke out of a slump with a three-run homer, Chris Bassitt became the first Oakland starter to earn a victory this season and the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Sunday.
Laureano’s two-out home run snapped a string of 23 1/3 innings by Mariners starters without allowing an earned run and helped the A’s win their second game in a row after a three-game losing streak.
Bassitt (1-0) struck out seven and allowed three hits with no walks in 5 2/3 innings. A’s starters had been 0-4 with a 4.75 ERA in the team’s first eight games.
This time around, Bassitt waited patiently for his slumping offense to awake and he was rewarded by his center fielder.
“I knew pretty much that was the spot for Ramon and he didn’t miss it, obviously,” Bassitt said. “He’s arguably our best hitter right now and he did what he is supposed to do. A hit would have been great, but a home run is a whole different ballgame. It changed the whole complexion of the game. It was a big sigh of relief for everybody.”
Laureano’s home run came after Marcus Semien beat the throw from third baseman Dylan Moore for an infield single that would have been the third out of the fifth inning. The hit chased starter Kendall Graveman (0-2), who was pitching against his former team for the first time with a sore neck.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said his hitters had a good feel and plan for Graveman, who remains familiar even though he missed the last two seasons following Tommy John elbow surgery.
“Kendall coming off surgery, a hundred (pitches) is probably going to be the top,” Melvin said. “Getting him out of the game and getting a left-hander in there for Ramon … was key.”
Laureano put reliever Anthony Misiewicz’s fourth pitch just over the wall in the left-center field gap.
Bassitt ended the third-longest winless streak by starters to begin the season in team history by largely frustrating the Mariners after a rocky first inning. The Mariners took a 1-0 lead on Daniel Vogelbach’s hard-fought RBI single.
Mariners rookie Kyle Lewis hit his third home run of the season to make it 3-2 in the eighth, but Liam Hendriks struck out three in the ninth to pick up his third save and second of the series.
“We’re playing good baseball,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “That’s the key with this group. We’re going to stay upbeat, positive and we’re learning along the way.”
Lewis struggled early, but extended his hot start to the season late in Sunday’s game and has now hit safely in all 10 games. Lewis’ 420-foot solo home run to the left-center field gap off reliever Yusmeiro Petit in the eighth was the outfielder’s his 17th hit of the season. That kept him on pace with Endy Chavez, who had 17 hits through 10 games in 2009, the previous best start to the season by a Mariners player.
Graveman will have tests done on his neck Monday after experiencing stiffness following his last start at Houston. He woke up sore Sunday morning, but pitched anyway.
“Hopefully we’ll find out some more answers tomorrow,” Graveman said. “It’s something I’ve dealt with for quite some time now. It kind of flared up in the Houston game. Trying to figure it out. … I’ve been told it can’t get any worse than it is.”
Mariners: Seattle called up reliever Erik Swanson from the alternate training site. The right-hander made 27 appearances for the Mariners as a rookie in 2019, going 1-5. The team dropped C Joseph Odom to make room. Swanson, one of 17 pitchers on the roster, worked in the ninth.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (0-1, 3.00) makes his third start of the season when he faces Seattle.
Mariners: LHP Justus Sheffield (0-1, 12.00) makes his second start of the season.
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