OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Brett Anderson pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning of a strong season debut, Daric Barton drove in a career-high four runs and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 6-2 on Thursday to take three of the first four in the AL West rivalry.
Cliff Pennington and Ryan Sweeney each added RBI doubles for the A's, off to a strong start after losing the season series to Seattle the past two years. The A's hope they can use this start for some momentum considering last year they began 2-1 but never were above .500 the rest of the way.
Anderson (1-0), an 11-game winner during his rookie season of 2009, allowed the first two batters to reach base in the seventh and was relieved by Chad Gaudin after 97 pitches. Gaudin then got three outs on nine pitches.
Anderson allowed three hits, struck out four and walked one. Franklin Gutierrez drew that lone free pass to chase Anderson. The left-hander went winless in five spring outings and beat the Mariners this time after taking the loss in his major league debut against them last April 10.
Gaudin struck out three in 1 2-3 innings in his first appearance since rejoining the A's following his March 25 release by the Yankees. Mike Sweeney singled in Seattle's first run with one out in the ninth off Jerry Blevins. Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey entered and allowed Matt Tuiasosopo's RBI single before retiring pinch-hitter Casey Kotchman on a game-ending double play.
Barton hit a two-run single in the eighth after RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings, helping the A's win the final three games of the series after losing Monday night's season opener 5-3.
The first three games were decided on the final at-bat. After the A's play this weekend against the Angels in Anaheim and Seattle visits Texas, these clubs will meet up again starting Monday at Safeco Field.
A's center fielder Rajai Davis stole a likely home run from Milton Bradley starting the second, with a leaping catch against the wall and his glove over the fence. The typically mercurial Bradley tipped his batting helmet to Davis in salute of the great play.
Three innings later, catcher Kurt Suzuki made an impressive running and sliding catch just in front of Seattle's dugout on Jose Lopez's foul.
Seattle starter Doug Fister (0-1), on the opening day roster for the first time after making 11 appearances last season, gave up two runs and six hits in four innings, struck out two and walked three.
Ichiro Suzuki saw the end to his 23-game hitting streak against Oakland dating to Aug. 24, 2008.
NOTES: Mariners LHP Cliff Lee is set for a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday at Texas to test his strained abdominal muscle that landed the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner on the DL to start the season. On Wednesday, Lee threw eight pitches from flat ground and eight off the mound. "I feel perfectly fine," Lee said. ... 1B Tuiasosopo earned his first start of the season. He struck out looking leading off the third on a 13-pitch at-bat and singled in the eighth. ... Speedy Seattle No. 2 hitter Chone Figgins stole his third base of the season but was caught stealing for the first time. ... Only six times in all of 2009 did the A's have a winning streak of three or more games.