Ellis hits game-winning single for A’s
OAKLAND – Mark Ellis calmed himself down with bunt base hit. He then riled up his Oakland teammates with single into the gap in the 10th inning.
Ellis punched a game-ending RBI single into right field with two outs in the 10th, lifting the Athletics to a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
“I was a little bit anxious and when I bunted it helped a lot,” Ellis said. “I had some good at-bats after that.”
Edwar Ramirez (1-0) pitched the 10th to earn his first win since Sept. 3, 2008, when he was with the New York Yankees.
Kanekoa Texeira (0-1) took the loss in his major league debut.
“It’s unfortunate that you have to leave a young kid out there in his debut but I thought he was phenomenal,” Mariners’ manager Don Wakamatsu said. “This game was really not his fault. It’s really the offense. From 4-9 we were 1 for 24 and that’s the story of this ballgame. The story comes down to not scoring runs. We scored the one on a wild pitch and that was it.”
Kevin Kouzmanoff and Kurt Suzuki each singled with one out in the 10th. After Eric Chavez flew out deep to left, Ellis singled into the right-center gap to score pinch-runner Eric Patterson.
“I knew he would have to come at me,” Ellis said. “I don’t think he threw the pitch exactly where he wanted to and I was able to drive it into right field.”
A’s starter Dallas Braden struck out a career-high 10 in seven innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk. He retired 15 of 16 during one stretch, and picked off Ichiro Suzuki in the first inning.
“Strike one was the key more than anything,” Braden said. “I had to fill up the strike zone early and often.”
A’s manager Bob Geren said that was the best he’d seen Braden pitch.
“He had one of the best changeups he’s ever had,” Geren said. “He threw many of them and still had them out in front. I know it’s just the second game but it felt important.”
Mariners starter Ian Snell lasted six innings, giving up one runs and three hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Franklin Gutierrez, who had two hits, doubled with one out in the fourth, was balked to third and scored on a wild pitch to give the Mariners the early lead.
Kurt Suzuki tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with his first home run of the season, hitting a 1-1 pitch into the left field bleachers.
Snell retired eight of nine batters before Suzuki’s home run. Chavez and Ellis followed with singles and Cliff Pennington walked to load the bases. Snell retired Rajai Davis on a comebacker to end the rally and set down the final seven batters he faced.
Texeira had a dramatic ninth inning. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, the right-hander gave up a single to Ellis and Travis Buck’s double. Pennington was walked intentionally and Texeira struck out Davis and got Daric Barton to fly out to left field after falling behind in the count.
“He’s our long guy and we have to stretch him out as long as we can until we score a run,” Wakamatsu said. “We weren’t able to do that but what a gutsy performance.”
Texeira and Kurt Suzuki knew each other, growing up in Hawaii.
“He actually coached me in Little League one year,” Texeira said. “He’s what, only three years older than me? It was fun, exciting. He laughed at me when he got on first and I laughed back.”
NOTES: Ichiro Suzuki singled to open the game, extending his hitting streak against the A’s to 22 games. … Snell is 3-1 in his last eight road starts. … Braden has made 47 career starts and has yet to complete a game, the third-longest streak to start a career with Oakland. … Ellis has six walk-off hits.
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