SEATTLE (AP) -
are rookies, yet they are already in step with the rest of the American League.
They love facing the
Smith allowed four hits over six innings for his first win since June, and Ziegler got out of his own bases loaded jam in
the bottom of the ninth as the Athletics beat Seattle 2-0 on Thursday night.
The win moved Oakland to 7-25 since the All-Star break.
Smith (6-12), one of the 10 rookies on Oakland's current roster, is 1-0 with 12 scoreless innings in two starts against the
Mariners. He's 5-12 with a 4.08 ERA against everyone else. He had six consecutive losses from June 30.
''I can't put my finger on it. If I could, I'd patent it,'' the 24-year-old said of his mini-mastery of the Mariners. ''Maybe
it's a lineup thing.''
The Mariners (46-81) lost their seventh straight game and are an AL-worst 35 games under .500. They wasted a three-hit night
and a solid effort from converted reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-2), who allowed just four hits in a career-high seven innings.
They are a major league-worst 12-27 against left-handed starters - and will see three more in this weekend series. The A's
have an all-lefty rotation for only the second time in Oakland history. The first time was the 1973 staff led by
homered in the sixth for Oakland.
added an RBI single in the top of the ninth, after Mariners shortstop
was charged with an error for not handling a throw at second base when Seattle had
picked off first.
Ziegler allowed a single by
, a double by former Athletic
to load the bases with one out in the ninth. But Ziegler got Betancourt, the No. 9 hitter, to chop a sinker into a game-ending
double play for his fourth save with Suzuki in the on-deck circle.
Ziegler has allowed just two runs in 44 innings this year, a 0.41 ERA. The lowest season ERA with a minimum of 30 innings
in major league history is 0.38, by Boston's Buck O'Brien in 1911.
''I'm not going to say I wasn't thinking about Ichiro being on deck,'' Ziegler said. ''But I know Betancourt is a better matchup
On July 10, Smith shut out Seattle on four hits over six innings before Ziegler entered the seventh and loaded the bases with
two outs. He got out of that mess, too, one of his closest calls en route to a modern major league record 39 scoreless innings
to begin a career.
Rowland-Smith struck out six and walked three. He had a two-hit shutout with two outs in the sixth when Brown hit his first-pitch
changeup for his 12th homer, clearing Oakland's bullpen bench beyond left field.
Rowland-Smith rued the pitch choice.
''I threw changeups to the hitters before that. Maybe he was thinking I'd start him off with a changeup,'' he said.
Plate umpire Bill Hohn called the next pitch to
a strike. Thomas, who had already been mad at Hohn for calling him out on strikes in the second inning and is on a career
high-tying, 0-for-19 skid, angrily spun away from home plate and took a short walk. He was muttering without looking at the
umpire when Hohn ejected him. The veteran designated hitter then became irate and had to be separated from Hohn by manager
. Thomas tossed his bat over his right shoulder and threw hit batting helmet in the direction of the umpire as he stomped
off the field.
''Just the old arguing balls and strikes, I guess,'' Geren said. ''Frank's been around a long time, so he knows.''
Smith had his 14th pickoff of the season in the fourth, after he walked and then completely fooled
. That's the most by a major league pitcher since 1997, when
had 14 for the Yankees.
Notes: Oakland All-Star RHP
went on the DL retroactive to Wednesday. Geren is optimistic Duchscherer, who has inflammation on his right hip that had surgery
on it last summer, will be back next month. He's not so sure about Gallagher, who has shoulder fatigue. ...
, the fifth overall pick in 2006 who was converted to a starter this month, struck out 10 and walked one in 4 2-3 innings
while allowing two hits and two runs for Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. The Mariners may have Morrow make one more start there
before adding him to the rotation.