SEATTLE (AP) – Having seen most of the past two seasons wiped out by Tommy John’s surgery, Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker was more than ready to feel the feeling of victory again.
He did so after one of the most impressive outings of his entire career.
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“It was just fun to go there, learn more about the game. It’s been a long time, ”Walker said. “But I felt good. Honestly, I didn’t feel tired. I didn’t feel like I was breathing hard. Honestly, I feel like I could have gone more.
Walker threw a one-shot in seven innings, Kyle Lewis had his sixth consecutive multi-stroke game and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 5-3 on Friday night.
Walker (1-1) was dominant on his first start to Seattle since the end of the 2016 season before being traded to Arizona. Walker pulled out eight and walked two. The only hit was Ramon Laureano’s double in the fourth inning, but he was stuck in third after Walker made a good defensive play to hook Mark Canha’s comeback for the inning final.
Walker’s best inning came when he hit the side in fifth place after securing a 2-0 lead. It was Walker’s first victory since Sept.6, 2017 against the Dodgers as he pitched for Arizona, before elbow problems and surgery limited him to four combined starts in the past two seasons.
This was the third time in Walker’s career he pitched at least six innings and allowed a hit. The previous two came during the 2015 season.
“We probably weren’t at our best at this point, but he pitched a really good game and shuffled his throws pretty well,” said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. “His first game didn’t look sharp; that game he looked sharp right away and we certainly couldn’t solve it.
Relief Bryan Shaw stumbled in the eighth, giving up a two-run triple to Marcus Semien and Laureano’s sacrificial volley. That was all Oakland would get when Taylor Williams pitched the ninth for his second save.
As Walker was crushing on the mound, Lewis continued to rack up flat hits. Lewis made a single and scored on the first goal on Kyle Seager’s two-run double in the fourth inning. In the fifth, Lewis fielded an RBI single down the middle to score JP Crawford.
. @ KLew_5 continues to do so. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/PAtsVsKd6L
– Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) 1 août 2020
Lewis has 15 hits in the first eight games.
“Consistency is an understatement for what Kyle Lewis was able to do. … With (Seager) it’s a great combination in the middle of our roster, ”said Seattle manager Scott Servais.
Oakland starter Sean Manaea only lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and five runs, but only three were won. Manaea (0-2) put the first nine batters in order, but struggled in the fourth and was raised an inning later after Crawford’s second single.
Like we said, it’s GOOD to be at home. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/uIZkjKAQqD
– Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) 1 août 2020
SHOW OF UNITY
Players from both teams all stood along the foul lines during the national anthem. After the anthem was over, a message of social justice and equality from The Players Alliance played in the stadium, Oakland’s Marcus Semien, Seattle coach Joe Thurston and eight of the Mariners Black players – Lewis, Crawford , Carl Edwards Jr., Dee Gordon, Shed Long Jr., Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield, and Mallex Smith – all took a knee while playing the video.
“As a group we wanted to show unity for The Players Alliance and stay together,” Lewis said.
ON THE ROAD
Due to his past history in Seattle, a normal trip to play the Mariners means A’s manager Bob Melvin enjoys going out and seeing the city or meeting old friends.
This was not the case as the As embarked on their first road trip of the season with the goal of being smart, safe and healthy. Oakland had not left the Bay Area since summer camp began.
“I think guys are just over,” Hey look, we just need to stay, stay in our rooms, go to the ballpark, “” said Melvin. “We had a day off yesterday, I know I haven’t been anywhere.
Track and field: RHP Mike Fiers (0-0, 9.00) conceded seven hits and four runs in four innings in his first start against the Angels. Proud is 3-2 with a 5.93 ERA in 12 career starts against Seattle.
Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 12.27) makes his second start. Kikuchi allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings in his first outing against Houston. Kikuchi was strong at the start, but gave up four runs and was eliminated in the fourth inning by the Astros.
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