Athletics 3, Mariners 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ The Oakland Athletics, completing their first winning season since 1992 and wrapping up the AL’s best home record, got one final chance to show off the pitching that made them an unexpected playoff contender in 1999.
Ron Mahay pitched five strong innings in his first major league start and combined with four relievers on a four-hitter as the A’s defeated the Seattle Mariners 3-1 Sunday to finish with a 52-29 home record and an overall mark of 87-75.
The Mariners finished 79-83, winning three more games than in 1998 but ending up in third place in the AL West and with a losing record for the second straight year.
Ken Griffey Jr., who made out the Mariners’ lineup for the game, had an RBI single in the third before leaving the game at the end of that inning. He finished the season with a .285 average, an AL-leading 48 homers and 134 RBIs in 160 games.
Outfielder Jay Buhner coached at first base for one inning for the Mariners.
Randy Velarde had an RBI double in the fifth for the A’s, making him the sixth major league player to have 200 hits in a season while playing for more than one team. Velarde was traded from Anaheim to the A’s on July 29.
Ramon Hernandez added a run-scoring groundout and Eric Chavez walked with the bases loaded as the A’s scored three runs in the fifth.
Seattle second baseman David Bell had to be restrained by manager Lou Piniella and two coaches after he was ejected by first-base umpire Mike DiMuro in the fifth. Bell was ejected while playing in the field and the cause of his heated argument with DiMuro was unclear, though there was a close play at first base earlier in the inning on which Bell covered first.
Mahay (2-0) allowed one run on three hits. His streak of 21 straight batters retired, a season high by an A’s pitcher, ended when Rafael Bournigal singled with one out in the third to become Seattle’s first baserunner of the game.
Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for Oakland for his eighth save.
John Halama (11-10), who lost his last five decisions, allowed three runs on nine hits in five innings. The rookie left-hander won nine straight decisions to improve his record to 9-2 in early August, but struggled in the final two months of the season.
Notes: Mike Macfarlane, playing his final major league game, went 0-for-2 for the A’s before leaving the game after the fourth inning. He announced Friday he is retiring after 13 seasons with Kansas City, Boston and Oakland. ... The teams split the 12-game season series. ... Jason Giambi went 2-for-4 for the A’s but did not drive in a run, leaving him one short of the Oakland season record of 124 RBIs set by Jose Canseco in 1988.