Pineda could still be named to the American League All-Star squad as a replacement after some pitchers throw this Sunday -- with teammate Felix Hernandez in that boat -- and are thus ineligible to participate in the All-Star Game two days later.
The 22-year-old certainly didn't damage his case against the A's, allowing just one run on a pair of singles and two walks, striking out seven. He's now 8-5 with a 2.58 ERA. Those are pretty good numbers for anybody, let alone a youngster in his first big league tour.
The Mariners didn't give Pineda a lot of help, but scored once in the sixth and again in the seventh to give him a 2-1 lead before manager Eric Wedge summoned the bullpen with his prize youngster at 92 pitches.
The win pulled Seattle within a game of .500 at 42-43 as they kick off a seven-game road trip against division-rivals Oakland and Anaheim.
Pineda's only problem came in the second inning when he gave up a walk and two singles, the last one a run-scoring shot to left field by Kurt Suzuki. But even that came only after third baseman Adam Kennedy lost a foul pop in the sun off the bat of leadoff hitter Hideki Matsui, with Matsui following with a base hit and eventually scoring.
Kennedy had trouble in the sun for much of the day, losing another pop foul that fell at his feet and having shortstop Brendan Ryan rescue him with a long running catch on another foul ball later in the game.
Oakland right-hander Brandon McCarthy, making his first start in six weeks due to shoulder problems, breezed through five innings himself, allowing just one hit before the Mariners finally cracked his code.
Josh Bard, starting his fifth straight game in place of injured catcher Miguel Olivo, tied the game with a solo home run in the sixth. McCarthy then gave up the go-ahead run in the seventh when Ryan singled and scored from first on a double into the right-field corner by Justin Smoak.
Bard hit three long balls last year in 39 games for Seattle, and now has 38 career home runs over 10 seasons in the Majors with five different franchises.
Smoak snapped a 1-for-30 slump with his run-scoring double, increasing his team-leading RBI total to 42.
(Courtesy of: www.mariners.com)