SEATTLE (AP) — Mitch Haniger hit his 100th home run and third in two games, and the Seattle Mariners pulled within a half-game of the second AL wild card berth by beating the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Tyler Anderson pitched four innings on two days' rest for the Mariners, who won their team-record 11th straight game over Oakland. Seattle, 18 games over .500 for the first time since August 2018, has won four in a row and nine of 10.
Haniger hit his third homer of the series into the left-field bullpen in the seventh inning after hitting two nearly identical three-run shots in Monday's 13-4 win. His 38 homers and 95 RBIs are career highs, coming after he missed much of 2019 and all of 2020 due to two operations.
"I got a little emotional," Haniger said, tearing up with reporters. "It took so much time to come back. ... A lot of missed time, a lot of pain, not really being able to walk for a little bit, and kind of being pretty much broken, and being able to come back, it's been fun."
Seattle (88-70) is just behind Boston (88-69) and just ahead of Toronto (87-70) in the wild card race, trailing the New York Yankees (90-67). The Mariners finish their series against the A's on Wednesday, then host the Los Angeles Angels for their final three games of the regular season.
Seattle would be eliminated from the AL West race with one more loss or one win by first-place Houston (92-65).
Oakland (85-73) is 3 1/2 games back of the Red Sox and in must-win territory.
"Look, we've played what, 15 games in a row here?" A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Our bullpen's a little bit shot, but we need to come out and win a game tomorrow and make everybody feel a lot better about the way things have gone with them."
Anderson was on a pitch limit, and Mariners manager Scott Servais anticipated his bullpen would be key.
"This is the most unique card I've ever had," Servais said of the possibilities he drew up. "It had all the contingencies on there, so it was a crazy night. You never know what's going to happen in the game, but you're planning for everything, and as you're knocking off each inning, it gets a little bit easier knowing that we could get to our back-end guys."
Casey Sadler set the team record with his 26th straight scoreless appearance, getting the Mariners out of a jam in the fifth with two on. He pitched 1 1/3 innings with a strikeout.
Anthony Misiewicz (5-5) and four relievers combined to give up one unearned run over five innings. Drew Steckenrider allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, then got three straight outs as he struck out two for his 12th save in 15 chances.
No. 8 hitter Jake Fraley had a go-ahead two-run double against Yusmeiro Petit (8-3) in the fourth, and No. 9 hitter Tom Murphy drove in a run for the Mariners in their 40th comeback win.
Anderson, acquired as a fifth starter from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, gave up nine runs and nine hits in two-plus innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. The abbreviated outing made it possible for him to start in place of struggling Yusei Kikuchi.
"Everybody appreciates a grinder who just wants to go out there and pitch," reliever Paul Sewald said.
Servais broached the topic on Monday with Anderson.
"I was fired up about the idea and the opportunity," Anderson said.
Anderson gave up two hits, including a solo homer to Chad Pinder in the fourth. He threw 40 of his 46 pitches for strikes.
"The best way to describe him is very professional in everything he does," Servais said. "He spends as much time going over the other team as much as anybody on our team. Forty strikes out of 46 pitches? Remarkable."
Sadler has pitched 25 straight scoreless innings, second only to Shigetoshi Hasegawa's 28 2/3 in 2003. … Seattle's previous consecutive wins streaks were set against Kansas City in 1985 and the Baltimore in 2001. ... A's pitchers struck out five batters, setting a team record for strikeouts in a season with 1,302, three more than in 2019.
The Mariners bolstered their bullpen for the playoff run by calling up RHP Matt Brash from Triple-A Tacoma on the same day they selected him minor league system pitcher of the year. The 23-year-old rookie will be the 11th Mariners player to make his debut this season when he makes his first appearance. Brash had a 2.31 ERA in 20 appearances at Class A Everett and Double-AA Arkansas with 142 strikeouts. He was part of a combined no-hitter, pitching the first six innings, for Arkansas.
Athletics: OF Starling Marte (strained left lat) spent time in the batting cage Tuesday, manager Bob Melvin said, but is not yet ready to return to the lineup. Melvin said he remains day to day. … INF Josh Harrison (strained quad) returned to the lineup.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (13-9, 3.48) is 5-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 13 starts since the All-Star break.
Mariners: Rookie RHP Logan Gilbert (6-5, 4.83) will finish off the series. Seattle is 15-8 when he starts.