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Felix strong, offense even stronger as Mariners blow out Athletics

9/10 at OAK by TOM HAYDEN

74-68, 10.5 GB in AL WEST, 3.5 GB in AL WILD CARD ----

LET'S GO M's! What a win this was on Saturday afternoon in Oakland as the Mariners brought the bats in every way, shape and, form to blow out these A's by a final score of 14-3! Everyone in the starting lineup recorded a hit besides 2B Robinson Canó and 1B Adam Lind. Base hit after base hit, the Mariners were able to knock in runs to help back "King" Felix Hernandez who had a strong day on the mound himself. With the win, our Seattle Mariners keep on climbing in those American League Wild Card standings, now just 3.5 games in back of that second Wild Card spot. With Saturday's win, the M's also passed the former World Champion Kansas City Royals in the race. The Mariners trail the first place Texas Rangers of the American League Western Division by now 10.5 games. 

Offensively on Saturday afternoon, the Mariners bats came ALIVE as they put up 14 on 17 hits off of Oakland pitchers. Almost everyone in the lineup had themselves their best games of the season as multiple guys put up 2 or 3 hits in this one. We'll start from the top of the order, where LF Nori Aoki (.269 AVG) whose been swinging a hot bat, went 3-for-5 on the day with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Nori put up 2 doubles and a single in the ball game. He now has 19 doubles on the season and 19 RBI after the 2-RBI day. DH Nelson Cruz (.283 AVG), my pick for Mariners Player of the Game, went 3-for-4 at the plate 2 doubles, and a single for 3 RBI. Cruz now has 24 doubles on the season and 89 RBI! 3B Kyle Seager (.294 AVG) had himself a day going 2-for-5 at the plate with a single and his 28th homer of the season, a no-doubt solo blast in the top of the seventh inning! Seager now has 92 RBI on the season after Saturday, which leads the team. C Jesus Sucre (.375 AVG) who has provided a strong bat for this Mariners offense since being recalled from AAA Tacoma went 2-for-5 on the day with a pair of singles for an RBI and run scored. Sucre's RBI was his 3rd of the season so far for the M's. CF Ben Gamel (.138 AVG) who replaced CF Leonys Martin who just took the day off, also went 2-for-5 at the dish with a pair of singles, a run scored, and an RBI. The RBI was Gamel's 2nd as a member of the Mariners. SS Ketel Marte (.262 AVG) continues to play well in that ninth spot in the lineup as he also went 2-for-5 at the dish with a pair of singles, 2 runs scored, and his 29th run batted in this season so far for Seattle. 2B Shawn O'Malley (.230 AVG) pinch-hit for Robinson Canó in this one and went 1-for-1 with a 2-RBI single! The 2 RBI now gives O'Malley 17 on the season. RF Guillermo Heredia (.227 AVG) also came into the game as a pinch hitter for RF Seth Smith, didn't record a hit, but did register his 10th RBI of the season in this one via a walk with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning. RF Seth Smith (.267 AVG) went 2-for-4 on the day with a pair of singles and a run scored for Seattle offense in what certainly was a great day to be an M's fan! 

On the mound, RHP Felix Hernandez took the ball for his 21st start of the season on Saturday afternoon. Hernandez's command was certainly there, and he looked positive throughout his outing. King Felix went a solid 6.0 innings giving up an impressive no runs on 6 hits while walking 1 Athletic and striking out 2 on the day. Felix earned his 11th win of the season and now has a individual W-L record of 11-5 with an ERA of 3.58 in just over 130.0 innings pitched so far this season! In relief on Saturday afternoon, RHP Drew Stroen got the nod to come in for relief first. Storen (5.83 ERA) made his third appearance off of the 15-day DL on Saturday. Drew went 1.0 inning giving up 1 run on 2 hits (earned). RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (7.29 ERA) then made his first appearance off of the 15-day disabled list and went 1.0 inning giving up 2 runs on 1 hit (both runs earned) while walking 1 and striking out 1 in his outing. Wilhelmsen gave up a 2-run home run to OAK 3B Ryon Healy in the bottom of the eighth inning. Completing relief on Saturday afternoon to help close out this BIG win for Seattle was LHP Vidal Nuño (3.58 ERA) who went the entirety of the ninth inning tossing a blank frame! 

WHAT'S NEXT? : 

The Mariners will now go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon in Oakland as LHP James Paxton (4-6, 4.03 ERA) and the M's will take on OAK rookie RHP Raul Alcantara (0-1, 15.00 ERA)! Be sure to catch all the action as the Mariners look to jump to 7 games over .500 and try and win their 5th straight game! Tune into ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on KTTH 770 Radio! First pitch start time is scheduled for 1:05 PM PAC, 4:05 PM ET! 

MARINERS 365 NOTES: 

Our AAA affiliates, the Tacoma Rainiers, were eliminated from the Pacific Coast League Playoffs on Saturday night. With their season now being officially over, stay tuned for some roster moves that could possibly be made. Follow @Mariners365 on Twitter for any updates. 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting towards the PostSEAson! 

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