The Associated Press
SEATTLE–Oakland Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin said he wasn’t paying much attention to the out-of-town scoreboard at Safeco Field during his team’s 9-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners last night.
No matter, Melvin and his team got the result they wanted.
Matt Olson hit a grand slam that capped a six-run fifth inning, and Khris Davis added his major league-leading 47th home run, as the A’s moved closer in the AL wild-card race.
The Athletics took advantage of the Yankees’ 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay to move within 1.5 games of New York atop the wild-card standings.
With the win, Oakland (96-63) improved to a big league-best 41-21 since the all-star break.
New York (97-61) holds the tie-breaker to host the Oct. 3 game, with the winner advancing to the division series against AL East champion Boston.
“We’re just trying to win every game we can,” Melvin said.
“Now, we have to balance it with who we’re playing and resting guys, but again, we feel good with whatever lineup we run out there,” he noted.
With the tied 3-3, Nick Martini hit an RBI single that chased Felix Hernandez (8-14), who made his first appearance since gaining American citizenship this week.
Marcus Semien added a run-scoring single against Chasen Bradford before Olson’s drive to right-centre.
Chad Pinder also homered for the A’s, who reached 96 wins for the first time since 2013.
Ryan Buchter (6-0) pitched a hitless inning in relief of Edwin Jackson, who gave up three runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.
“Everything now is just a day-at-a-time mentality,” Jackson noted.
“You can’t really look too far ahead,” he reasoned. “We’ll find out what’s next in due time.”
Meanwhile, aside from trying to play themselves into a home wild-card game, the A’s were saying they hope to see Davis reach a round-number long-ball milestone by the time the regular season ends Sunday.
“I definitely want to see him get to 50,” Olson said. “I think he can do it, too.
Elsewhere in the AL, Toronto beat Houston 3-1, Minnesota dumped Detroit 11-4, Cleveland pounded Chicago 10-2, and L.A. edged Texas 3-2.
Boston split a doubleheader with Baltimore, winning the first game 19-3 before losing the nightcap 10-3.
Kansas City beat Cincinnati 6-1 in interleague play.