OAKLAND, Calif.(AP) Although the
' entire scoring output was confined to one inning of singles and walks, they were enough to get past the
And though a three-game winning streak isn't much, it's the best run of a tough season for
and his A's.
Giambi's two-run single capped a four-run seventh inning, and Oakland shook its offensive woes just long enough to rally for
a 4-3 victory Tuesday night.
The A's have the majors' worst slugging percentage and fewest extra-base hits among their various statistical lowlights, yet
they mounted a winning rally exclusively with small ball. Giambi has struggled to get his average above .220 during his return
to the Bay Area, but he swung aggressively at the first pitch from Seattle reliever
- and as he reached first base, his first thought wasn't about his RBIs.
''It was nice to be able to answer for
,'' said Giambi, who struck out with the bases loaded in the first inning. ''He's been pitching great, and we haven't been
giving him any support. ... I was just grateful to get another at-bat with guys on base. I was ready to hit the first pitch,
and luckily it was a strike.''
Braden (4-5) was unexpectedly rewarded for battling through seven innings of nine-hit ball when his teammates pounded
(2-1) and Lowe, who wasted six scoreless innings by
with stunning speed.
After retiring his first batter, Batista yielded two singles - including
's hit to score Oakland's first run - and walked two before Lowe replaced him with the bases loaded. He got
on a fly to center, but
drew a run-scoring walk before Giambi singled with two outs.
''It all fell apart,'' Seattle manager
said. ''We got into trouble with Miguel, then Lowe came in and got the pop up, then lost his command a little bit. The one
pitch to Giambi was the ballgame.''
Oakland has won two straight over Seattle after losing five of the clubs' first six meetings.
After two Oakland relievers pitched the eighth,
and his 98-mph fastball finished for his second save in four chances.
extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a run-scoring single in the seventh, and
drove in first-inning runs in the Mariners' fourth loss in six games. That rally could have been bigger, but Sweeney - who
hit an RBI double moments earlier - fell down while rounding third base because of back spasms that forced him out of the
game moments later.
''It crushes me, because Wash pitched a great game, and as the score turned out, we needed that run,'' said Sweeney, who expects
to be ready to play by Friday.
The loss capped a discouraging day for the Mariners, who put catcher
on the disabled list with a broken toe in another blow to their own struggling offense.
Until the A's unlikely rally, Braden appeared headed for yet another hard-luck loss. The left-hander received more than one
run of support just three times in his first nine starts, and the A's showed nothing against Seattle until their last chance
to reward him.
''I can't worry about how our offense is doing,'' Braden said. ''I basically play defense. Our offense is a non-factor. ...
We've all been playing ball for a while. We all know what a streak feels like, but we don't want to get too excited about
In a start pushed back from Saturday because of soreness in his left knee, Washburn gave up six hits and left with a 3-0 lead.
Despite consistently shutting down the A's struggling lineup, Washburn is winless in six starts since April 21.
''I was able to fight through the first inning, and the second was a little better,'' said Washburn, who had been off the
mound since early last week because of the injury. ''It hurts warming up, and it hurts on my last pitch. If it stays at this
level, I can deal with it. It had been getting gradually worse every start this year.''
was scratched from the A's lineup shortly before game time. The veteran slugger returned from the disabled list Friday after
a calf injury. ... The Mariners recalled
from Double-A to back up Johnson. Quiroz has played 95 games for four major league teams in his short career.