Published September 29, 2012
| Sports Network
Oakland, CA – Coco Crisp finished a triple shy of the cycle and scored three times, as the Oakland Athletics downed the Seattle Mariners, 8-2, in the opener of a three-game set on Friday.
Crisp clubbed a leadoff home run in the first, while Stephen Drew added a two-run shot for the A's, who hold a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the final AL wild card spot.
"It starts with him all the way around," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Crisp.
Oakland also moved within three games of Texas for the top spot in the AL West after the Rangers fell to the Angels on Friday.
A.J. Griffin (7-1) allowed one run on four hits and two walks over 5 2/3 frames to help the A's earn their fifth straight victory against Seattle.
Trayvon Robinson and Michael Saunders each smacked a solo shot, while Blake Beavan (10-11) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings.
Crisp's leadoff blast into the seats in right-center field gave Oakland an early lead, but the M's answered in the second, as Robinson launched a two- out homer into center field to knot the game at 1-1.
Cliff Pennington started the third with a single and Drew followed two batters later with a two-run blast into right-center field to give the A's a 3-1 lead.
Oakland added to its lead in the fifth as Crisp kept the frame alive with a two-out double. Drew then walked before Yoenis Cespedes reached on shortstop Brendan Ryan's fielding error to load the bases.
Oliver Perez then entered for Beavan and uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Crisp to score from third for a 4-1 edge.
Saunders pulled the Mariners within 4-2 in the seventh when he belted the first pitch of the frame over the wall in straightaway center field, but the A's responded with four runs in the bottom half.
Pennington and Drew worked walks around a Crisp infield single to load the bases with no outs. Seattle reliever Stephen Pryor then took over on the mound and walked Cespedes to score Pennington.
After Brandon Moss popped out to shortstop, Josh Reddick slapped a grounder to second baseman Dustin Ackley, who fired wide of the plate to allow Crisp to score.
Josh Donaldson then scorched a single back up the middle to plate a pair as the A's grabbed an 8-2 lead.
Jerry Blevins blanked the M's in the eighth and Jim Miller worked a scoreless ninth to secure the victory.
"We have to play a complete ball game," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge.
The Mariners have now homered in 17 straight games ... Crisp's homer was his 4th leadoff blast of the season ... Oakland hosts Texas for three games to close out the regular season ...Seattle went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base.