Kottaras homers again, A's beat Mariners 6-1

Kottaras homers again, A's beat Mariners 6-1
Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes tags third for a steal before the tag from Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager during the fourth inning on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
SEATTLE (AP) — George Kottaras homered for the second straight game, Brett Anderson won his fourth straight start since recovering from Tommy John surgery and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 6-1 Saturday night.

Anderson (4-0), who had surgery on his left elbow 14 months ago, allowed one unearned run and six hits while striking out four in six innings. He lowered his ERA to 0.69.

Stephen Drew had an RBI single and Coco Crisp had a run scoring double after Kottaras' homer in Oakland's four-run fourth inning that gave them a 5-1 lead.

The A's kept pace in the AL West with the Texas Rangers, who beat Tampa Bay 4-2. Oakland trails the Rangers by 4½ games and are in a virtual tie with the Yankees and Orioles atop the wild-card race.

With the score tied 1-1, Yoenis Cespedes opened Oakland's fourth with a double into the left-field corner. With one out, he stole third on a 1-0 pitch to Drew, who followed with a RBI single against the drawn-in infield. The ball just tipped off the glove of second baseman Dustin Ackley.

Kottaras then hit a 1-1 fastball from Hisashi Iwakuma (6-4) for a two-run, line shot into the right-field seats to make it 4-1. It was his fifth home run of the season, and came one day after he had a three-run shot in the same inning Friday during the A's 6-1 victory.

The A's continued to add on. Cliff Pennington singled and scored on Crisp's double.

Iwakuma worked 3 2-3 innings, allowing four earned runs and six hits. He walked two and struck out three. Over his previous seven starts, Iwakuma was 5-1 with a 1.57 ERA.

Seattle finished 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

The A's forced Iwakuma to throw 25 pitches in the first inning and scored a run without a hit.

Crisp opened with an eight-pitch walk. He was forced at second on Josh Reddick's grounder. Cespedes followed with a two-out, one-hopper past third baseman Kyle Seager and into the left-field corner. It was ruled a two-base error, scoring Reddick.

The Mariners tied it in the second. Michael Saunders bounced a one-out double over the center-field wall. Miguel Olivo reached when shortstop Drew booted his ground ball, advancing Saunders to third. He then scored on Trayvon Robinson's force-out.

Cespedes added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

NOTES: A's RHP Brandon McCarthy, hit in the head by a line drive Wednesday, is showing good progress after his surgery to reduce brain swelling. "I'd give him one more day (until he's out of the woods)," trainer Nick Paparesta said. "I think with any head injury you need to be cautious ... but the progress has been great and we're all very excited about it." A's manager Bob Melvin, who gathered the team together before the game for a medical update, said, "It puts a smile on your face." ... Reddick's single in the ninth snapped an 0-for-18 slump. ... Mariners manager Eric Wedge said rookie RHP Erasmo Ramirez, a September callup, will start Tuesday at Toronto. Hector Noesi also will be worked into the rotation. "We just want to take a look at them again," Wedge said. "It's a chance to watch them a little longer." ... Mariners LH reliever Oliver Perez has not allowed a run in his last 18 appearances (13.1 innings), or since July 8. That's tied for the seventh-longest streak in club history.