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A’s beat Maeriners again, take two of three in series

OAKLAND — Youth was served Sunday as the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 to take two of three games against their AL West tormentors.

With a starting lineup that included four rookie position players and a rookie starting pitcher in JP Sears, the A’s won their second straight game against a wild card contender that had beaten them 10 straight times at the Coliseum after Friday night’s 10-3 blowout loss.

With the win before a sun-drenched crowd of 9,314, the A’s improved to 45-77 with the Mariners falling to 66-56.

Mitch Haniger, the former Archbishop Mitty star, homered in the third against Sears, his fifth of the season.

A’s rookie catcher Shea Langeliers went 3-for-4 with a double, a single and a triple — and all were hit extremely hard.

“They’re getting great experience now,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “This isn’t about development. We’re here to win games, and they showed that today. They grinded this one out—the whole team. We’ve got 15 of those rookies and yet today they played like they’ve been here a little bit. They showed that this series — a great series against a playoff contending team and they stepped up the game and played it at the highest level.”

Sears (5-0) departed with a 3-1 lead after five traffic-filled innings in which he gave up six hits but just one run on the Haniger home run. He had just 1-2-3 inning — the fifth — and threw 79 pitches, 51 of them strikes before giving way to workhorse reliever Domingo Acevedo. The A’s used six relievers in all, with Austin Pruitt finishing up his first career save by getting the final two outs.

Luis Castillo (1-1), acquired from Cincinnati in one of the biggest deals before the trade deadline, was also done after five innings. The four earned runs were the most Castillo has given up in four starts with Seattle. Castillo walked one, struck out five and threw 86 pitches, 55 for strikes, with Matt Brash replacing him to open the sixth.

Seattle drew within a run in the top of the seventh on a pinch-hit RBI double by Cal Raleigh against AJ Puk and a run-scoring single by Julio Rodriguez against Zach Jackson, with the A’s adding another run on Langeliers’ RBI triple in the eighth against Matthew Festa. It brought home Vimael Machin, who had doubled to left.

It was the first triple since May 18, a span of 81 games that is a major league record. The drive hit the top of the left field fence and bounced back toward the infield, giving Langeliers an opportunity for a full head of steam.

“I got lucky though,” Langeliers said. “It kicked real far off the wall so I just got to keep running,” Langeliers said.

The A’s rookies have also been teammates at Triple-A Las Vegas so there is plenty of familiarity.

“We’ve been playing baseball in Vegas and we came up at different times, but we’re a pretty close group of guys,” Langeliers said. “We brought that energy up here.”

Sears, who had one start with Langeliers behind the plate in Las Vegas after being acquired from the New York Yankees in the Frankie Montas deal, said the catcher “is one of the most poised young catchers I’ve ever seen.”

The Athletics took a 3-1 lead against Castillo in the second on a rally furnished entirely by rookies batting Nos. 6 through 9 in the lineup.

Second baseman Jonah Bride walked, and Langeliers followed with a double to left center that came off the bat at 110.7 miles per hour. Center fielder Cal Stevenson brought in Bride with a sacrifice fly to deep center, followed by a run-scoring single from shortstop Nick Allen over the first base bag. Allen ranged into the outfield for a difficult play to end the game, throwing out Ty France at first base.


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