Zych bails out Diaz, saves Mariners in 6-5 win over A's

Seattle Mariners catcher Tuffy Gosewisch jumps up to chase a ball as Oakland Athletics' Yonder Alonso looks on Monday, May 15, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

After expecting the night off, Tony Zych made the most of a surprise call in the ninth inning.

Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager each hit a two-run homer, and Zych bailed out struggling closer Edwin Diaz with a game-ending strikeout with the bases loaded to preserve Seattle's 6-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics as the Mariners made the most of four hits on Monday.

Oakland scored twice in the ninth, when Diaz walked four of the five batters he faced to force in a run. Zych relieved, and the second run scored on Khris Davis' groundout. After an intentional walk to Yonder Alonso loaded the bases again, Zych struck out Adam Rosales looking on a 3-2 pitch for his first major league save.

"I knew it was close, and got excited when he called it," said Zych, who had 20 saves in the minors. "I've been a closer forever. You don't close here. We've got an unbelievable guy, Eddie, and obviously he was a little shaky tonight, but with his stuff, he'll be fine. It was special for me."

Diaz, who had 18 saves last season as a rookie after moving into the closer's role on Aug. 1, gave up the game-winning home run Sunday in a 3-2 loss at Toronto, where the Mariners were swept four straight.

"Tony Zych, great job tonight," manager Scott Servais said. "He was actually supposed to be down tonight. We got to the point where we just had to go for it. Obviously, it didn't look like Eddie was going to work his way out of it."

Cruz's home run, his ninth, put Seattle up 4-0 in the second as the Mariners capitalized on five walks by Sean Manaea (1-3), activated off the disabled list earlier in the day.

Oakland pulled to 4-3 on a solo homer by Davis in the fourth and a two-run shot by Stephen Vogt in the fifth. Both came off starter Yovanni Gallardo (2-3), who allowed three runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Seager made it 6-3 in the eighth with his third home run. Guillermo Heredia, who reached on a two-base throwing error by shortstop Chad Pinder, scored ahead of Seager.

Manaea's four walks after a leadoff single by Jean Segura led to a pair of Seattle runs in a 38-pitch first inning. Manaea escaped further damage by striking out Tuffy Gosewisch with the bases loaded to end the inning.

After Cruz's homer, Manaea retired his final 10 batters. He allowed four runs and two hits in five innings with seven strikeouts in his first start since April 26.

"He was really rusty at the beginning and I'm surprised we got five innings out of him, because 90 pitches was as far as he was going to go," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "And he gave us pretty much exactly that. In the first inning he was one more hitter away from coming out in the first inning, so he looked a little rusty early on but got it together."

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