Saturday, April 11, 2015

A's lineup, Pomeranz dominate Mariners in rout

A's rookie Mark Canha hit his first big league home run and finished with three hits and two RBIs in support of a dominant Drew Pomeranz, who fired off seven scoreless innings against the Mariners while cruising to a 12-0 series-opening victory at the Coliseum on Friday.
"Honestly," said Pomeranz, "I got a little tight when I was in between innings because we were scoring so many runs. I think it really made me pitch, really made me go out there and have to pitch to guys."
Taijuan Walker got rocked in his first start of the season for the Mariners, as the 22-year-old right-hander gave up nine runs on nine hits in just 3 1/3 innings after making the rotation with an outstanding spring.
The A's finished with 16 hits total, getting at least two from five different players and three each from Canha, leadoff man Sam Fuld and first baseman Ike Davis.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tone setter: The A's jumped on Walker for three runs in a 37-pitch first inning, setting the tone for an offensive outburst. Canha got things going with a one-out single, and he came back in the second and hit a two-run shot to left field for his first Major League home run. Canha finished with three hits, giving him seven total in his first week in the big leagues. More >
Taijuan in trouble: Walker just never got on track for the Mariners as his pitch count rose quickly and subsequently his velocity and command suffered. Just like Hisashi Iwakuma in the previous game, Walker found himself trailing 5-0 after two innings. Unlike Iwakuma, he couldn't work out of that funk and wound up being relieved after three final hits and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out in the fourth. More >
Drew delivers: Pomeranz was attacking hitters from the start, striking out each of his first two batters and six overall. The lefty faced the minimum through the first six innings and completed seven total for just the third time in his career, tying a career high. He didn't walk a batter. More >
"That's a pretty tough lineup to navigate your way through, and he had everything working," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "You could see in the first inning with the strikeouts, elevated when he had to, was on the corners when he needed to, the curveball was going, just had it all working tonight. He got on a roll, and you could see the confidence grow, and just ended up having a terrific night."
It's a good thing he showed up: The only Mariners batter to bother Pomeranz was center fielder Austin Jackson, who had both of Seattle's hits off the lefty. Jackson singled in the fourth, but was immediately erased on a double-play grounder by Robinson Cano. Jackson added another base hit in the seventh.
QUOTEWORTHY
"He pitched really good. He was throwing strikes. It gives you more chances to throw pitches the way you want when they score early. They scored five and it gives a breather to your starter. And, boy, you have to give him credit for the way he pitched tonight." -- Cano on Pomeranz's dominant outing.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• The Mariners' Walker didn't allow more than two runs in any of his last four starts of 2014 and surrendered just two runs total in 27 innings this spring. But the 22-year-old gave up three runs in the first frame alone on Friday and wound up with a career-high nine runs allowed and an ungainly 24.30 ERA to start the year.
WHAT'S NEXT
A's: Sonny Gray will look to extend his 18-inning scoreless streak -- dating back to last September -- when the A's and Mariners hook up for the second game of their three-game set at the Coliseum on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. PT. Gray carried a no-hitter into the eighth in his Opening Day start against the Rangers before allowing his lone single in eight frames.
Mariners: Left-hander J.A. Happ makes his debut for Seattle after being acquired from Toronto in the offseason. Happ is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four outings against the A's, including seven shutout innings with four hits in a 3-1 win in his lone meeting with Oakland last season in Toronto.

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