SEATTLE (AP) — Milton Bradley got a much-needed boost for himself and the Seattle Mariners with one big swing Tuesday night.
Bradley hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to power Seattle to a 3-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Doug Fister (1-1) threw eight crisp innings for the Mariners, allowing three hits and walking one. It was the longest outing in the majors for the 26-year-old right-hander, who began last season as a Double-A reliever.
Jose Lopez started the decisive rally with his third hit. Then Brad Ziegler (0-2) walked Mike Sweeney. After showing bunt on the first pitch, Bradley golfed a low pitch five rows into the right-field bleachers.
Bradley began the day in a 1-for-22 rut. He was demoted from fourth to sixth in the batting order a few days earlier and had a sit-down with manager Don Wakamatsu. The mercurial slugger also flipped off heckling fans from the outfield during the fourth inning at Texas on Friday night.
As he stepped on home plate following his second homer of the season, Bradley raised both hands above his head. He pressed his palms together and jabbed them toward the sky.
David Aardsma finished the three-hitter for his third save in three chances, pushing the Mariners to 3-6 after they began the season with playoff expectations.
Brett Anderson struck out six in six innings for Oakland, allowing six hits and walking two. He hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings over two starts this season, both against Seattle.
The Mariners squandered a handful of scoring chances before Bradley came through against one of his seven former teams and ended Seattle's streak of 20 scoreless innings.
Seattle had two on and one out in the fourth after getting a double from Bradley, who went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .115. But Anderson struck out Casey Kotchman on a slider low and away and Rob Johnson on a full-count pitch low and inside. Johnson was yelling at himself as he was swinging at the pitch out of the strike zone.
The Mariners also put runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh, and came away with nothing each time.
Lopez struck out swinging with runners on the corners to end the fifth, and Jack Wilson bounced into a fielder's choice with men on first and second to finish the sixth. Chone Figgins hit a one-out double in the seventh and was thrown out trying to steal third on a nice play by catcher Kurt Suzuki.
NOTES: Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair said LHP Cliff Lee (strained abdomen) looked great during a 63-pitch bullpen session. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner is expected to make his season debut May 1 or 2, pending Wednesday's hearing on his appeal of a five-game suspension for throwing over the head of Arizona's Chris Snyder in a spring game. ... A's manager Bob Geren said he was hopeful 2B Mark Ellis would play Wednesday. Ellis missed the first two games of the series with a hamstring strain from Sunday's game at the Los Angeles Angels.