AL: Pineda, Mariners shut down Oakland in 4-0 win

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SEATTLE (AP) - Rookie Michael Pineda dazzled again, throwing six shutout innings for his third straight victory, and Adam Kennedy's two-run single was enough offense in the Seattle Mariners' 4-0 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.

Pineda's night was shortened only because of a rising pitch count. The burly right-hander gave up just three hits in his first five innings and when Pineda (3-1) faced trouble in the sixth, got Kurt Suzuki to line out to left field and a ground ball from Mark Ellis to end the threat.

Oakland has now gone 18 innings since last scoring and was shut out in consecutive games for the first time since May 2008.

Seattle got just seven hits themselves, but took advantage of seven walks allowed by the A's. Kennedy scored on Jack Wilson's two-out single in the second off Oakland starter Tyson Ross (1-2), then drove home a pair in the fifth.

Kennedy has become Seattle's hottest hitter the past few days, quite a jump from being a non-roster invitee who only got to spring training by signing a minor-league deal. He provided all the offense behind ace Felix Hernandez on Thursday night with a solo homer - his second in two games - then came up with two more hits on Friday.

Kennedy waited on Jerry Blevins' slow breaking ball and lined it back up the middle to score Chone Figgins and Michael Saunders in the fifth. Jack Cust walked with the bases loaded to force home Wilson with Seattle's second run.

But the story of this night was Pineda, who became the first Seattle pitcher to begin his career with four quality starts. Pineda has gone at least six innings every time out, and gave up five hits, struck out five and walked only two.

Pineda was done after the sixth due to a high pitch count. Most of those were racked up in the second inning where he threw 31 pitches and allowed consecutive walks to lead off before getting strikeouts of Ellis and Kevin Kouzmanoff and a groundout by Cliff Pennington.

He also got great defense at times. Kouzmanoff led off the fifth with a single and stood at third with one out. Pineda came inside on Coco Crisp, forcing a grounder to first. Kennedy threw home to Miguel Olivo and got the tag on Kouzmanoff, who might have scored with a better slide.

Wilson also started a key double play in the seventh with a sliding stop that was turned nicely by shortstop Brendan Ryan.

David Pauley and Aaron Laffey worked two innings of relief. Jamey Wright entered in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out before Brandon League got Conor Jackson to ground into a game-ending double play for his fifth save in five chances.

Ross made his first start of the season after a trio of appearances out of the bullpen, but could not get command and throw strikes. Already limited to under 100 pitches, Ross was done after 4 1-3 innings thanks to throwing 45 balls compared to just 31 strikes. He was charged with three runs, walked four and struck out none.

NOTES: Seattle 1B Justin Smoak, on the bereavement list following the death of his father, is expected to rejoin the Mariners in Detroit on Tuesday. ... Friday was the birthday of Ross (24) and Oakland reliever David Purcey (29). Purcey threw 1 1-3 innings of relief and didn't allow a hit. ... Seattle LF Milton Bradley left in the third inning with lower back spasms. ... Seattle has pushed LHP Erik Bedard back and will have RHP Felix Hernandez start on normal rest Tuesday at Detroit. Bedard will now go on Wednesday.


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