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Mariners head home after strong opening road trip

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm •  Published: April 6, 2014
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Lloyd McClendon routinely speaks of a Mariners culture change, of "commitment, accountability and responsibility."

In a small sample size the first week of April, Seattle is making a strong early impression on its new manager.

The Mariners jumped to an early three-run lead Sunday before losing 6-3 to the Oakland Athletics to wrap up a winning road trip to open the season. Now, the club heads to Seattle with a 4-2 record to play its home opener Tuesday against the Angels at Safeco Field.

"Any time you come back off a road trip with a winning record, regardless of how you got there, it's successful," McClendon said.

Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer, Yoenis Cespedes connected in the eighth and Josh Donaldson beat out an infield single in the fifth to drive in the go-ahead run off Erasmo Ramirez (1-1).

Ramirez struggled with his command after an impressive win in his season debut Tuesday at Los Angeles. He allowed seven hits and walked three in four innings.

Robinson Cano's third-inning double gave him a 14-game hitting streak against the AL West, yet the Mariners managed little else in the late innings. Cano has a hit in each of his first six games after joining the Mariners on a $240 million, 10-year contract this offseason.

Right-hander Dominic Leone made his major league debut in the seventh for Seattle after being promoted Friday. The 2012 16th-round draft pick bypassed Triple-A. He immediately gave up Eric Sogard's double, the No. 9 batter's third hit of the day to match a career high.

"It was crazy. It was fun. I had a lot of emotions out there," Leone said. "In a way, giving up the double helped settle me down. I realized it was still just baseball. At the end of the day I put up a zero and kept the team in the game."

Sonny Gray (1-0) allowed one earned run and six hits, struck out three and walked two in six innings. In the ninth, manager Bob Melvin went back to closer Jim Johnson, who delivered his first save despite allowing two baserunners.

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