SEATTLE (AP) -- Mark Mulder wasn't at his best, but the Oakland
Athletics' ace was still good enough.
Mark Mulder has been the best of the Big Three this season.
Mulder pitched into the seventh inning for his second victory,
and Frank Menechino's tiebreaking homer lifted the A's to an 8-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night."I wasn't real loose today," Mulder said. "I didn't feel real good out there. I was just trying to battle and make it through the game."Miguel Tejada and Jeremy Giambi also homered off Freddy Garcia as Oakland handed the Mariners their first loss since opening day.Mulder (2-0) gave up three runs on five hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch."I felt tired all day today," Mulder said. "I don't know why,
but I just didn't have much energy. I was trying to get it going,
but I just couldn't."Garcia (0-2) allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks in six-plus innings. He struck out six.Seattle manager Lou Piniella was critical of Garcia, an 18-game
winner last season."He's throwing too many pitches," Piniella said. "His pitch count is way too high for the innings he's pitched. You should be able to pitch a complete game with 115-118 pitches."Trailing 3-1, the A's tied it on Tejada's two-run homer to right in the sixth inning. They went ahead 5-3 on Menechino's two-run shot to left in the seventh.Terrence Long, off to a 1-for-22 start this season, added an RBI
double off Jeff Nelson in the seventh.Scott Hatteberg had a two-run triple off Ryan Franklin in the eighth to make it 8-3. It was Hatteberg's third career triple.Despite not having Jermaine Dye yet this season, the A's have
hit nine home runs in their first six games."I don't know if you expect it," Mulder said. "When we get Jermaine back, hopefully we'll be that much better."Giambi gave the A's a 1-0 lead in the third when he hit the right-field foul pole for a homer.Hatteberg pointed out the A's also were playing without Eric
Chavez."We're missing two key guys," he said. "But we still have a pretty potent lineup. I think we have a very balanced attack top to bottom. People seem to be coming up big every night."In the bottom half, the Mariners came back with three runs.
Ichiro Suzuki had an infield single, Mike Cameron walked and Bret Boone singled in Suzuki from second.Edgar Martinez followed with a single to score Cameron before
Mulder walked Jeff Cirillo to load the bases.Mulder then walked Carlos Guillen on four pitches to force in Boone."He lost it," A's manager Art Howe said of Mulder's third inning. "the key was he came back to the dugout, put it back together and did a fine job from that point."Boone complimented Mulder for pitching on a night when he wasn't
his sharpest."Mulder didn't have his best stuff and we got to him," Boone said. "But then he held us there. He did a good job."David Justice, acquired in a trade from the New York Mets in
December after Oakland lost Jason Giambi as a free agent to the New
York Yankees, was 3-for-5 with a stolen base. He's hitting .458
(11-for-24) with seven RBI this season."If he can swing like this most of the season, then he's going to have an outstanding year for us," Howe said.Guillen, the Mariners' shortstop, committed two fielding errors as the A's loaded the bases in their half of the third after Giambi's homer. But Garcia got Long to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning.Guillen also failed to catch Justice's fly in shallow center in the second. It was ruled a hit.
Lee Abbott, 78, father of Mariners RHP Paul Abbott, died
Thursday in Southern California. He suffered a stroke during spring
training and never left the hospital. ... Seattle 3B Jeff Cirillo
made his first start at first base since May 6, 1998, when he was
with Milwaukee. ... 3B Chavez wants to return to the A's lineup as
their DH on Sunday night after missing three straight starts
because of tightness in his lower back. ... A's second baseman Randy Velarde underwent a CT scan and an MRI on his injured left hand Saturday and will return to the Bay Area to see a hand specialist Sunday. Velarde, who could be placed on the DL, was hit by a pitch from the Rangers' Chan Ho Park on Opening Day. ... A's outfielder Jermaine Dye, who is coming back from a broken tibia, said he hopes to be able to run the bases soon.