SEATTLE (AP) — Tommy Milone finally got on the mound after schedule changes had the Oakland lefty get skipped in the rotation.
Three pitches into his season, Milone trailed 1-0, and with Felix Hernandez pitching on the other side.
"I felt like I threw the ball well, but it's tough to look at that outing and be happy about it. It was just good to get back out there and compete," Milone said.
Milone couldn't match Hernandez on Friday night. Seattle's ace took a shutout into the eighth inning, striking out 11 in the Mariners' 6-4 win over the Athletics.
Seattle pressured Milone from the start, and ended his night after Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer in the sixth to give the Mariners a 5-0 lead.
In between, Milone (0-1) pitched well. But he was going to have to be exceptional to top Hernandez.
"We didn't play very well early in the game and Tommy pitched way better than his line would suggest," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Hernandez's first home start of 2014 was his best performance in the young season.
With the usual "King's Court" for Hernandez home starts expanded to a "Supreme Court" encompassing the entire stadium with yellow shirts and "K'' cards, Hernandez gave up four hits in the 28th double-digit strikeout game of his career.
Three of Oakland's four hits off Hernandez came in the span of five batters in the fourth and fifth. Jed Lowrie's one-out single in the fourth was Oakland's first hit, and Josh Donaldson followed with an infield single. Hernandez pitched out of the jam with strikeouts of Brandon Moss and Yoenis Cespedes.
Alberto Callaspo doubled to lead off the fifth and advanced to third on Robinson Cano's two-out error at second base. Hernandez struck out Sam Fuld looking to end the inning.
Hernandez struck out the side in the seventh, but Daric Barton was hit on the foot by a curveball and Eric Sogard singled to open the eighth. That was it for Hernandez.
"He was getting a low fastball for a strike which makes him doubly effective," Melvin said. "He's getting the bottom of the zone and throws the change up off it and it's really tough to lay off him."
Oakland was able to rally against Seattle's shaky bullpen.
Lucas Luetge walked his only batter. Danny Farquhar walked Jed Lowrie on a 3-2 pitch to score Barton.
Brandon Moss added a broken-bat single off Charlie Furbush for the second run charged to Hernandez, and Cespedes beat out a potential double play to score another. Furbush threw a wild pitch that Fuld scored on to cut the deficit to 6-4, but Callaspo popped out to end the rally.
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his third save.
Milone was down 1-0 in a blink after Abraham Almonte doubled on the first pitch of the game, Brad Miller followed with a bunt single and Cano's infield hit gave Seattle the lead.
Seattle appeared to add another in the fourth when Kyle Seager was ruled to have hit a solo homer down the right field line. The play was reviewed by umpires and the ball was called foul. But Seattle scored twice in the inning when Donaldson and Lowrie committed two-out errors after Dustin Ackley's double.
Seattle added another run in the sixth when Miller homered to center field with the wind blowing in. It was his third homer this season.
"Shoot, I think that was all I had. I was just hoping Fuld wasn't going to go up and take that one back in," Miller said.
NOTES: Oakland OF Coco Crisp did not start for the fourth straight game due to a sore wrist. He pinch-hit in the ninth. ... The A's will likely activate OF Craig Gentry from the disabled list Saturday, Melvin said. ... Ackley became the first Seattle batter with three hits in a game this season. ... Seattle is still unsure of its starter for Tuesday in Texas. Manager Lloyd McClendon expected a decision before Saturday's game. Likely options are RHP Blake Beavan coming up from Triple-A or RHP Taijuan Walker being activated from the DL.