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Once past Felix, Oakland takes two from Seattle again to extend first-place lead

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So the Oakland Athletics can't beat Felix Hernandez in 2014 -- they certainly can beat the Seattle Mariners every other time out.

The A's beat the Mariners, 3-0, on the road today to complete another series victory over their Northwest division pals, replicating the feat from last week at the O.co Coliseum. Oakland lost to Seattle both times it faced Hernandez, the 2010 Cy Young recipient, in the last week.

Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Donaldson hit home runs today to save the A's late, as Oakland hitters went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 base runners otherwise. But Cespedes' two-run shot in the eighth inning broke a scoreless tie, and Donaldson's solo jack in the ninth sealed it.

Combined with the 3-1 Athletics' win on Saturday, Oakland is now 8-4 on the young 2014 season and owners of the best record in the American League. Not bad for a team that lost its tenth straight season opener two weeks ago.

The A's have the best team ERA in the AL, and they certainly showed why the last two games: today, Scott Kazmir threw six scoreless innings, and he was supported by four relievers who kept the Mariners scoreless -- and yesterday, it was Sonny Gray (seven innings, one run, nine strikeouts) and two relievers doing the duty.

Plus, the new Oakland "closer by committee" is working just fine with Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle alternating roles this weekend to hold and preserve the two wins.

Now, the A's head to Los Angeles for a three-game set with the Angels before returning to the O.co Coliseum on Friday for a six-game homestand against their two division rivals from Texas. After getting swept opening week by the Mariners in Los Angeles, the Angels have won six of their last nine to get back to 6-6 on the season.

Oakland sends Jesse Chavez, Dan Straily and Tommy Milone to the hill for the next three games against the Angels.

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