A's can't solve Noesi, shut out in Seattle 4-0

A's can't solve Noesi, shut out in Seattle 4-0
April 15, 2012, 3:39 am

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Jesus Montero finally made the splash Seattle's been waiting for with a solo home run and a two-run double, Hector Noesi threw eight shutout innings, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 4-0 on Saturday night.

The two centerpieces Seattle received in its major offseason trade with the New York Yankees shined together on the same night. Montero showed off his power with a line-drive homer in the second inning and later his ability to go to opposite fields by lining a two-out double just inside the right-field line to give Seattle a 4-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Noesi (1-1) was brilliant on the mound, rebounding from a rough first start for Seattle. Noesi gave up five hits, struck out six and picked up his first major league victory as a starter.

Oakland's Tommy Milone (1-1) took a one-hitter into the sixth inning before Seattle scored three times to break the game open.

There was plenty of expectation when Seattle gave up All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda to get Montero and try to help its staggering offense. The goal by bringing in the young slugger was finding a bat that could provide the pop Seattle's offense has missed but would remain under the team's control for a number of years.

Montero's power had not shown up through the first eight games, but its display on Saturday was impressive. Montero lined a 3-2 pitch 415-feet over the wall in center field. It was his first extra-base hit in a Mariners uniform and was greeted by a standing ovation from the appreciative home crowd.

But that was it for Seattle's offense until the sixth. Seattle got its first hit since Montero's homer when Brendan Ryan lined a single into center with one out in the sixth. Ryan then got gutsy and made it to third on Chone Figgins' single to left-center with Figgins going to second on the throw. Dustin Ackley then walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases for Ichiro Suzuki, but Seattle's new No. 3 hitter weakly popped out to short for the second out.

Justin Smoak walked when Milone was wide with a 3-2 pitch to force in Ryan. Montero then broke it open with an inside-out swing that dropped a liner down the right-field line and scored a pair. Smoak was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first.

Milone gave up four runs and four hits in six innings for the A's.

Although he was somewhat overlooked in the framework of the trade, Seattle's management was just as excited about bringing Noesi over from New York. He was knocked around in his first start for Seattle, giving up six hits and seven earned runs in just three innings against Texas. But back in a more pitcher-friendly park, Noesi flustered the A's and induced popups and fly outs most of the night. Of the 24 outs Noesi recorded, nine popups were caught by infielders and another five fly balls caught by outfielders.

Noesi scattered hits to Daric Barton, Josh Reddick and a pair to Cliff Pennington. He ran into trouble with two outs in the eighth when Pennington's second hit was followed by Jemile Weeks' ground-rule double to deep center. Despite being at 104 pitches, Noesi stayed in and got Coco Crisp to pop out to end the inning.

Notes: Seattle LHP George Sherrill has not received MRI results on his sore left elbow but said it started bothering him after the Mariners returned from Japan. Sherrill was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained flexor bundle. ... A's manager Bob Melvin said he would announce Oakland's No. 5 starter on Sunday. Because of schedules, the A's have not needed a fifth starter until Tuesday's game at the Angels.

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