OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Frankie Montas struck out nine in six innings for his team-leading ninth win, and the Oakland Athletics beat Seattle 11-2 on Saturday amid reports that the Mariners are closing in on a deal to trade AL home run leader Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees.
Marcus Semien homered and scored three runs for the A’s, extending his career-high hitting streak to 12 games. Jurickson Profar had three hits and drove in four runs.
Domingo Santana singled twice for Seattle.
The Mariners lost for the third time in five games as word circulated that Encarnación could be on his way to New York. The 36-year-old slugger entered the day with 21 home runs in his first season with Seattle. If completed, the deal would be the latest indication that the last-place Mariners are looking toward the future after beginning the season 13-2. Seattle traded Jay Bruce to Philadelphia on June 2 and may be in line to make additional moves before next month’s deadline.
Manager Scott Servais had plenty of time to contemplate the state of his ballclub after being ejected by home plate umpire Carlos Torres in the fourth inning. Seager was called out on strikes and was arguing with Torres when Servais intervened and was tossed.
It was a frustrating day all around for Seattle. The Mariners struck out 12 times and matched their season-high with four errors.
Montas (9-2) was crisp in winning his fifth straight. He allowed two runs, six hits and walked one. He struck out cleanup hitter Daniel Vogelbach and Kyle Seager twice and struck out the side in the fourth. Montas had nine or more strikeouts for the fourth time in 14 starts.
The A’s scored three runs in the first against opener Gerson Bautista (0-1), then got to Wade LeBlanc for one in the second and five in the fourth.
Seattle shortstop J.P. Crawford made a diving stop on a sharp grounder up the middle by Semien in the fifth inning, then flipped the ball from his glove to second baseman Dylan Moore, who threw to first for the out.
Mariners: Ryon Healy is awaiting results after undergoing additional tests on his sore lower back. Healy has been out since May 21. … Hunter Strickland (right lat strain) underwent another MRI test after suffering a setback. Strickland is expected to resume throwing by the middle of next week.
Athletics: Stephen Piscotty returned to the team after undergoing minor surgery to have a melanoma removed from his right ear lobe.
Mariners RHP Mike Leake (5-6, 4.26 ERA) will face the A’s on Sunday for the 11th time in his career, all as a starter. Leake is 2-3 in the previous 10. Oakland rookie RHP Tanner Anderson (0-1, 3.18) is making his second start for the A’s.