Franklin magnificent as Seattle blanks Oakland

Olerud led the offensive attack (Getty Images)

In a matchup of the top two teams in the American League West, Seattle dominated Oakland on Wednesday to extend its lead to five games. This game will forever be remembered as the game of Ryan Franklin's life.

July 13, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Seattle 0 0 0 1 2 1 2 0 X 6 6 1

WP R. Franklin (7-8) 9IP 2H 0R 0ER 3BB 3SO 0HR 3.50ERA
LP B. Zito (8-8) 6IP 3H 4R 4ER 6BB 5SO 1HR 3.34ERA


It's almost as if this one made up for all the unlucky outings Ryan Franklin had made thus far in 2003.

Franklin, matched up against 2002 Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito, pitched the game of his life Wednesday and got the run support he has lacked all season long, sending Seattle to a 6-0 win over Oakland.

The 30-year-old right-hander allowed just two hits over nine innings as he pitched the first complete-game shutout of his four-year major league career.

Franklin (7-8) looked more like the pitcher with a Cy Young award on his mantle at home, as Zito struggled mightily to find his control.

Unable to locate his fastball and manage his looping curveball, the Athletics' starter walked a season-high six batters.

After a scoreless first three innings of play, Seattle (60-39) got to Zito in the fourth when Mike Cameron brought home Carlos Guillen with a sacrifice fly to centerfield with the bases loaded.

An inning later, with Zito in trouble again after walking the bases loaded, John Olerud waited patiently for a breaking ball that he could pound.

Zito's first two pitches were fastballs. Olerud waited. The count went to 1-1.

The third pitch was the curve, and Olerud pounced on the pitch, sending a bullet over the second base bag to score Jeff Cirillo from third and Guillen from second to make it 3-0.

Randy Winn homered in the sixth for Seattle's final run off of Oakland's ace (one of three the A's have).

Zito (8-8) left after six innings, having been hurt by his erratic pitching. He gave up just three hits, but his six walks allowed Seattle to push runs across the plate.

The Mariners tacked on two more in the seventh off of Jim Mecir, a former Seattle farmhand who was traded away in the Tino Martinez trade after the 1995 season. Again, the runs came off the bat of Olerud, who lifted a double to deep right field scoring Guillen and Bret Boone.

That capped the scoring, and put the finishing touches on a magnificent, career-game for Mr. Ryan Franklin.

Miguel Tejada and Scott Hatteburg had the only two hits for Oakland (56-44).

Olerud led Seattle with his 2-4, 4-RBI day.

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