View original story here - written by Taylor Soper, associate reporter for MLB.com
SEATTLE -- After suffering through a franchise-record 17-game losing streak in July, the Mariners can't be stopped.
Well, in August at least.
Newly acquired lefty Charlie Furbush gave up just two hits in his debut as a Seattle starter, while the improving Mariners offense provided enough support in a 7-4 win over Oakland on a sunny Wednesday afternoon in front of 29,961 at Safeco Field.
The win completed the series sweep of Oakland, marking Seattle's first sweep since it reeled off three straight over San Diego in late May. After going 6-20 in July, the Mariners are 3-0 through three games in August and are batting .336 as a team this month.
"Even when we were on that last road trip during the 17-game losing streak, we hit the ball well," said first baseman Mike Carp, who finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. "We just weren't putting it together with pitching and defense all together. So finally, it's all starting to click, and it's been fun the last couple of days."
Two of the newest Mariners players have been key to the fun at Safeco Field, and if these past few days are a sign of things to come, Seattle fans have reason to be excited.
Furbush was excellent in five innings of two-hit ball, while Casper Wells, who came over with Furbush from Detroit in the the trade for Doug Fister and David Pauley, hit a home run on Tuesday and finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs on Wednesday.
"It's nice to be out there and contribute right away," said Wells, who is batting .400 with four RBIs in his first four games since joining the team. "I'm fortunate and blessed to be in this situation and glad I can help contribute and get some wins."
Furbush was mainly a bullpen guy with Detroit this season and struggled in his only two starts, losing both while compiling an ERA of 8.59 in those two games. But against the Athletics, things were different for the 25-year-old Maine native.
Though he threw only 62 pitches -- Seattle manager Eric Wedge said before the game that he'd watch Furbush's pitch count closely -- Furbush was solid with great command and good off-speed pitches.
"I felt good out there. I felt like I could keep going," Furbush said. "I'm looking forward to next time and getting some more pitches up there and try to go deeper in the game."
Wedge said he plans to keep the lefty in the rotation for "a while." Furbush was perfect through the first four innings, retiring 13 straight before Conor Jackson's double in the fifth. He gave up just one run and struck out three in five solid innings of work to become the 10th player in team history to pick up the win in his first start in a Mariners uniform.
"It looked like he was just mixing his pitches really well," said Oakland third baseman Scott Sizemore, who played with Furbush in the Detroit farm system. "He didn't double up on any of them. If you saw a fastball, he was coming with a changeup or curveball with the next one, and vice versa. He was keeping everybody off balance and keeping the ball down."
Jeff Gray allowed a three-run homer to Josh Willingham in the ninth, but it was too little, too late for the A's, as closer Brandon League came on to pick up his 26th save on the year.
The Mariners had been clicking in this series -- they had 22 hits and 12 runs in the first two games -- and Wednesday was no different. Seattle recorded 14 hits against Oakland, all of them coming on singles.
They racked up four hits and one walk through the first three innings without scoring a run, but that changed in the fourth. Catcher Josh Bard lined a one-out single up the middle that drove home Carp and Wells to give the Mariners a 2-0 advantage.
After Oakland cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth inning, the Mariners came right back with some insurance runs in the bottom of the frame, as Wells banged a two-out RBI single to left field that stretched the Mariners lead to 4-1.
Seattle tagged Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez for 10 hits and six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. Gonzalez, who also allowed four walks, fell to 9-9 on the year and had his five-game winning streak against the Mariners snapped.
Wedge went with quite a different lineup on Wednesday, putting Ichiro in the designated hitter slot and starting Jack Wilson at third base for the first time in his career. Wilson, who used Adam Kennedy's glove at third, made two diving stops and added a nice tag out in an impressive defensive performance.
Wedge also started Carp at first base in place of the injured Justin Smoak, who is day to day with a sore left thumb, and went with Wells in right field.
For the most part, the lineup worked well. Without having to play in the field, Ichiro went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Ryan finished 2-for-2 with two walks and a run. Carp scored twice and is batting .357 since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.
The Mariners have finally put it all together over the past three days. The pitching was solid, the offense was aggressive and the defense was, for the most part, error-free.
More than anything, the team's confidence seems to have returned.
"I just think going out there and being more of a complete team should restore confidence with the starters, the bullpen, and with defense and offense," Wedge said. "That's the way we're going to have to do it. That's the way most teams have to do it. They should be building some confidence by the way they are playing right now."
Newcomer Furbush helps Mariners beat A's 7-4 - KOMOnews.com
Mariners newbie Charlie Furbush shines in win - Seattle Times