The Oakland Athletics have allowed 54 unearned runs this season, second worst in the majors, and many of those runs have cost the A's games. On Thursday, they got away with a sloppy performance.
Tony Phillips' RBI single in the ninth inning gave the A's a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners, who had rallied for three runs only one earned in the eighth to tie the game.
Â"Every time we make a mistake we pay for it,Â" Phillips said. Â"It's good that we made some mistakes today and still came back to win the game.Â"
Â"We hit the No. 9 hitter (Christenson) and that's what got us into trouble,Â" Seattle manager Lou Piniella said.
Bill Taylor (1-4), who blew the save, picked up the win by getting six outs.
Russ Davis led off the eighth for Seattle with a single that knocked out starter Jimmy Haynes, and came around to score on two A's errors. Alex Rodriguez added a run-scoring groundout and David Segui had an RBI single off Taylor, who blew his fourth save in 22 chances.
Â"You hate to lose a lead like that, especially when you're in the eighth inning,Â" Haynes said. Â"We should have won that game, and it's good that we came back and did win.Â"
The A's wasted an excellent pitching performance by Haynes, who allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. He retired 10 straight batters in one stretch.
Haynes, who struck out three and walked two, allowed a double by Alex Rodriguez in the first and did not allow another hit until Edgar Martinez led off the seventh with a double. He became the first A's pitcher this season to throw at least seven innings in three consecutive starts.
Â"He never made mistakes over the plate. When a guy hits spots like that, it makes it tough,Â" Davis said. Â"Even when we got hitters' counts like 2-and-0 or 3-and-1, he was still throwing off-speed stuf for strikes.Â"
Eric Chavez hit his sixth homer of the season leading off the third for Oakland and the A's scored two runs in the fifth, including an RBI single by Phillips. Christenson added an RBI single in the seventh.
John Mabry had an RBI groundout in the seventh for the Mariners.
Starter Frankie Rodriguez allowed three runs and six hits in five innings for the Mariners. He struck out six.
Ken Griffey Jr. went 1-for-4 with a single in the eighth, and was 2-for-12 in the three-game series.
Notes: Oakland has not allowed a homer in its last seven games and has a homerless streak of 69 2-3 innings, its longest of the 1990s. The longest previous streak this decade was 69 innings on Aug. 3-11, 1990. ... Seattle's Paul Abbott made his first major league relief appearance since Sept. 4, 1992, when he pitched the sixth through eighth innings. He started last Saturday for the Mariners. ... Haynes got only three of his 21 outs on ground balls. ... Matt Stairs went 0-for-3 for Oakland, with three strikeouts, to end his hitting streak at eight games. ... Hernandez, who made his major league debut Tuesday, has had multiple hits in each of his three games for the A's. He is 7-for-13 as a major leaguer.
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