Monday, October 18, 2021
Oct. 18, 2021

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Haniger homers twice as Mariners blast A’s

Seattle moves 1.5 games back in wild card race with five to play

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A "Believe" sign, similar to one seen in the TV series "Ted Lasso," hangs from outfield seats as fans look on during a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Seattle.
A "Believe" sign, similar to one seen in the TV series "Ted Lasso," hangs from outfield seats as fans look on during a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) Photo Gallery

SEATTLE — Mitch Haniger hit two identical three-run homers and the Seattle Mariners gained precious ground in the AL wild-card race with a 13-4 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.

Seattle’s 10th straight victory against Oakland tied the team record for most consecutive wins against a single opponent. The Mariners have won eight of nine overall and nine of their last 11.

They are 1½ games behind Boston for the second wild card, with Toronto a game back of the Red Sox. Both those teams were off Monday.

Seattle has five games left.

Oakland fell 3½ games behind Boston and two back of the Mariners with two more games to play in Seattle.

Haniger hit his first three-run homer to the bullpen in left field during a five-run fourth inning, then put the game away with his second shot to nearly the same spot in the sixth. He has 37 homers this season after sitting out for 18 months following two surgeries.

Ty France reached base five times, going 4 for 4 with a walk and four RBIs. J.P. Crawford added three hits and an RBI. Each scored three runs.

The Mariners picked up their 21st win with Chris Flexen (14-6) starting on the mound. The right-hander struck out six, giving up four earned runs and seven hits in five innings.

Seattle reliever Casey Sadler extended his major league-leading scoreless streak to 25 appearances and 23 2/3 innings with three groundouts in the sixth.

Seth Brown gave Oakland starter Cole Irvin (10-15) a 3-0 lead with a three-run homer in the first — part of four consecutive hits by the A’s. But he left after walking the first two batters he faced in the fourth, and reliever Deolis Guerra gave up run-scoring singles to Crawford and France to set up Haniger’s first homer.

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