Oakland A's Notes: Mum's the Word

Nobody on the A's has a theory on why they own the Mariners this year. But even if they knew, it's not like they would give away the answer.

The A's have feasted on all Mariners pitchers this year, but especially starter Joel Pineiro. They handed Pineiro his fifth loss, and worst loss, against the A's this year by tagging him for nine runs in less than four innings en route to an 11-2 victory.

"Nobody can figure it out," A's starter Kirk Saarloos said. "A lot is luck. A lot is playing good baseball. I can't figure it out. I don't want to. I hope we do it again (Wednesday)."

Well, it's also been due to a lot of mistakes, especially Tuesday night. Pineiro only retired seven of the 24 batters he faced, but used four double plays to keep the damage somewhat contained.

It was still 4-0 with two outs in the fourth before Pineiro went walk, walk, RBI bloop single, RBI double and walk. Jake Woods entered with the bases loaded and Nick Swisher hit a three-run double to put a cap on the carnage.

"When a team is as hot as them, they have everything going for them," Pineiro said. "You try to throw an invisible pitch and hope they don't hit it."

Coming into the 2005 season, Pineiro was 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 games against the A's. Even entering this season, Pineiro was 8-3 with a 2.95 ERA against them.

But this year, he's been shelled in all five starts, giving up 28 earned runs in 23 1/3 innings for a 10.80 ERA. He's allowed 43 hits and 13 walks, a staggering ratio of 21.6 baserunners per nine innings.

No other pitcher in baseball has lost to the same team more than three times this year. Pineiro's lost five times to the A's.

"He's got good stuff," A's manager Ken Macha said. "He's just made some mistakes."

REPLAY: Kirk Saarloos, making his first start since July 5, allowed two runs in six efficient innings to win his fifth game this year as the A's crushed Seattle 11-2. Jay Witasick, Scott Sauerbeck and Kiko Calero each pitched one scoreless inning of relief.

The 6-7-8 trio of Jay Payton, Nick Swisher, and Marco Scutaro went a combined 8-for-11 with three walks, five runs scored, and eight RBIs. Payton reached base in all five plate appearances. Scutaro drove in a career-high four runs.


--CF Mark Kotsay made his first start since Aug. 6 and had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.

--SS Bobby Crosby went through another full baseball workout Tuesday, but won't be activated from the disabled list until Friday. It's doubtful that he would play both games of Friday's twi-night doubleheader in Kansas City, however.

--RHP Rich Harden made 40 throws, getting back to 100 feet, in his third day of catch Tuesday. His target date for getting on a mound is Sept. 1, and then he still will need another week or two before he could pitch -- and then, most likely in relief.

--LHP Brad Halsey is scheduled to start Thursday for Triple-A Sacramento, then return to the majors to start Tuesday in Toronto.

--OF Preston Wilson, who was designated for assignment by Houston, was the subject of erroneous rumors that he was headed to the A's.

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