OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Josh Reddick showed once more why everybody in Oakland believes he is All-Star worthy even though he's not headed to Kansas City next week for a spot on the American League roster.
Reddick hit his 20th home run as the lone highlight against Seattle's Jason Vargas in the Athletics' 7-1 loss to the Mariners on Saturday night, and also made a couple of pretty defensive plays in right field.
Vargas allowed his majors-high 23rd home run to Reddick in the first, but during one stretch late in the game retired 13 straight Oakland batters. Reddick became the first A's player since Nick Swisher in 2006 to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break.
Reddick also ran from right field into center to make a diving catch and rob Ichiro Suzuki of a hit leading off the third.
``He belongs and I think he believes that he is one of the elite right fielders in the league,' A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Vargas pitched a seven-hitter to win for the first time in more than a month, and the Mariners snapped Oakland's five-game winning streak to grab a little bit of momentum heading into both teams' final game of the first half Sunday.
Kyle Seager hit a bases-loaded double to drive in three, Brendan Ryan added a two-RBI double in the second and Suzuki singled up the middle in the fifth to end a career-worst 0-for-23 hitless stretch as the Mariners scored their most runs since a 14-10 loss at Arizona on June 20.
``Tonight, that's what we're looking for if anybody was wondering,' manager Eric Wedge said. ``That's a complete ballgame.'
Vargas tossed his sixth career complete game and first since July 6 last year at Oakland. He struck out six and walked one in a 107-pitch gem that featured the club record-matching four double plays.
All the scoring meant a lot, too.
``That's always great when we can put up multiple runs an inning,' Vargas said. ``That's huge for us. Our pitching staff can pitch with a lead.'
Casper Wells homered to help Vargas (8-7) end a five-start winless stretch in which he went 0-3 since a win at Anaheim on June 4.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the first when John Jaso singled and center fielder Coco Crisp misplayed the ball for a two-base error, allowing Michael Saunders to score.
Reddick's homer in the bottom half gave the A's a longball in 17 straight games, their most since also doing so in 2002. They haven't gone more than 17 games in a row with a homer since a pair of 18-game stretches in 1999. Reddick's 12 home runs with two outs lead the majors.
Seattle's offense bounced back against Oakland starter Jarrod Parker (5-4) a day after the A's won 4-1 in 11 innings Friday night on Chris Carter's game-ending three-run homer.
``We've been spoiled with him, he's been so good every time out,' Melvin said. ``We're so used to seeing him go out and throw zeroes, give up one run or less, that you can give him a break. His pitch count got up there quickly. His stuff was good but it didn't work out for him.'
Parker was tagged for six hits and six runs - five earned - in 4 2-3 innings to have his three-game winning streak snapped. The right-hander, who beat the Mariners at Safeco Field on June 27 striking out a career-high nine, struck out six and walked two. Parker had allowed one or fewer runs in each of his previous four starts.
``I made a lot of mistakes. I am not happy with this one,' Parker said. ``As a pitcher I am supposed to set the tone early, attack right away. I did the opposite tonight.'
A's cleanup hitter Yoenis Cespedes went 0 for 3 with a walk and is just 1 for 19 on the homestand, though lately has looked fully healthy from a strained left hamstring that sidelined him for nine games in a 10-game stretch last month.
There was a brief delay in the middle of the seventh when an advertising sign behind home plate got stuck on white.
Notes: Ichiro, moved down to the No. 2 hole in the order, also singled in the seventh and is a .358 career hitter in Oakland. ... Parker's six runs allowed matched his career high. This is the third time he's done it. ... The A's rotation for their three-game series at Minnesota after the All-Star break: A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Parker. ... Oakland opening day starter Brandon McCarthy, on the DL for a second time with a strained throwing shoulder, has played catch for two straight days. ``That's a good sign,' Melvin said. ... Sunday's game is ``Turn Back the Clock' at the Oakland Coliseum, with the A's set to wear 1955 Oakland Oaks uniforms, while the Mariners will be the Seattle Rainiers.
The Associated Press News Service
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