SEATTLE – Last-place Seattle welcomed new interim manager Daren Brown by getting its first triple play in 15 years in a 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
Brown moved up from Triple-A Tacoma earlier Monday when Seattle fired first-time manager Don Wakamatsu after 1½ seasons.
Brown became the 10th of Seattle's 17 managers to win their first game.
Only one of the other 16 finished their Mariners tenure with a winning record: Lou Piniella. The only manager to take Seattle to the postseason left after the 2002 season with a year left on his contract.
Brown, a 10-year veteran of Seattle's system, is the team's sixth manager in the eight seasons since. He said he got word the Mariners were promoting him at 11:30 Central time Sunday night, following Tacoma's 12-inning win at Omaha. He boarded a plane there at 6:30 Monday morning and arrived in Seattle hours before the Mariners' game.
He looked tired while hanging on the padded dugout railing early in the game. But he and the rest of the 19,943 attended were awakened in the top of the fourth by Seattle's first triple play since July 13, 1995, against Toronto.
Jose Lopez took a chopper by Oakland's Mark Ellis and immediately stepped on third base for a forceout. Lopez then threw to second base for a forceout there and Chone Figgins' throw to first baseman Casey Kotchman appeared to arrive at the same time as Ellis' foot hit the bag, but first base umpire Cory Blaser called Ellis out.
Ellis argued the call to no avail. Seattle's lead remained 2-0.
The 5-4-3 play was the 10th triple putout for the Mariners, who began play in 1977.
Aardsma was perfect in the ninth for his 21st save in 25 chances — and sent Oakland back to eight games behind idle and first-place Texas in the AL West.
Seattle's insurance run came after Mazzaro walked Gutierrez leading off the fourth. Gutierrez came around and scored on Josh Wilson's sacrifice fly.
Fister won for the first time in eight decisions and 12 starts, since May 14. He allowed seven hits and one run in six innings. He walked one and struck out five. Oakland's only damage off him was a single by Coco Crisp and a double by Rajai Davis to begin the sixth.
Seattle pitchers retired the final 12 A's batters to end it.
Mazzaro (6-4) allowed only three other hits and two early runs in his seven innings.
Touted outfielder Chris Carter became the last of Oakland's haul of six prospects received in the Dan Haren trade a couple of years ago to reach the major leagues. Carter went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his debut.
NOTES: Aardsma has allowed just one run over his last 10 games and is 5-for-5 in saves since July 11. ... The A's placed OF Matt Watson on the 15-day disabled list and optioned OF Matt Carson to Triple-A Sacramento. Besides Carter, Oakland also recalled 1B Jeff Larish from Sacramento in time to start the game. Manager Bob Geren said Watson had a procedure Monday morning to remove a kidney stone.