SEATTLE (AP) - The Oakland A's were feeling good coming to Seattle this weekend, believing the team was turning around.
It's still turning.
The Athletics dropped a 7-4 decision Wednesday, and were swept by their AL West rival for the first time since late in the 2009 season.
``As a team, we better be upset about the way we played here,' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ``We were coming off a good stretch where we played very well to come in here and get beat three games, by anybody, really. I'm hoping and guessing that everybody is upset about the way we played these three games.'
Oakland entered the series after taking three of four from Tampa Bay and two of three from Minnesota but lost to the Mariners 8-4, 4-2 and 7-4.
Josh Willingham's three-run homer in the ninth inning made the final score look a lot closer than the game actually was.
``We're frustrated,' third baseman Scott Sizemore said. ``You never want to come in here and lose three in a row, especially when you feel like we're playing pretty good baseball.'
The Mariners, who lost a club-record 17 straight games in July, won for the fifth time in their last seven.
Newly acquired Charlie Furbush (2-3) retired the first 13 batters during five strong innings and he was supported by stellar defense and a 14-hit attack.
It was just the third series sweep for the Mariners this season, the first since taking three from San Diego May 20-22.
Furbush did not allow a runner until Conor Jackson hit a double off the left-field wall that was inches away from being a home run and needed a video review.
Sizemore drove Jackson home with a double into the left-field corner.
``He was mixing his pitches really well,' Sizemore said. ``He didn't double up on any of his pitches. If you saw fastball he was coming changeup or curveball with the next one. And vice versa. And he kept the ball down.'
Later in the inning, Sizemore took the A's out of the rally with a baserunning mistake.
He tried tagging on a flyout to center field but overslid third base. Third baseman Jack Wilson stayed with the slide and held the tag on him.
``I was safe if I stayed on the bag,' Sizemore said. ``I just have to make sure I do have to stay on if I'm going to take that chance. I think I played it right. I just didn't execute.'
Josh Bard had the biggest of the Mariners' hits, a two-run single in the fourth off Gio Gonzalez (9-9), who is 1-4 with a 6.26 ERA in his last five starts. That broke a scoreless tie.
The loss ended Gonzalez' five-game win streak over the Mariners, dating to Sept. 6, 2009. He was 5-0 with a 2.52 ERA during that stretch.
In his 6 1-3 innings, he allowed 10 hits and six runs, walking four and striking out nine.
``I was putting people on base that shouldn't be on base. That is an easy way to give up runs,' Gonzalez said. ``I've got to continue to pound the strike zone and let them swing the bat and put it in play.'
Trailing 7-1 entering the ninth, the A's rallied with Willingham's home run off Jeff Gray.
Dan Cortes came in to get one out, but walked Sizemore.
The Mariners had to hurry and warm up closer Brandon League. He came in to get Adam Rosales on a pop up and Ryan Sweeney to ground out.
League earned his 26th save in 30 opportunities.
Ichiro Suzuki had three singles, giving him 274 career hits against Oakland, second most ever by an opponent. He trails only Rod Carew (282). Suzuki is a .333 career hitter against the A's.
Hideki Matsui had a single in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
NOTES: With an off-day Thursday, A's manager Bob Melvin expects that his two injured players, OF David DeJesus (sore thumb) and SS Cliff Pennington (Bell's Palsy), will be fit and available Friday in Tampa. Both worked in the cage before the game and are close to being ready. ... Mariners 1B Justin Smoak also has a thumb injury. He took a ground ball to his left thumb Tuesday and had to leave. X-rays were negative but the thumb is sore. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said it may be more than a couple days before he returns. Carp played first base. Seattle is off Thursday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved