The Seattle Mariners are getting ready to play their fourth game against the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum.
The Mariners took game one 7-1 on Thursday, but the Athletics quickly responded on Friday with a 7-5 victory to avoid the sweep.
The Oakland Athletics are currently 81-55 this season with a home record of 40-27. The Seattle Mariners are 75-60 with an away record of 37-32. However, the Athletics hold a 5 ½ game advantage in the battle for the second place position in the AL West and second for the wild-card position.
With last night’s victory, the Athletics move within 1 ½ games of the Houston Astros, who have lost two straight games against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Athletics used much of their bullpen in their victory last night after receiving a poor outing from Mike Fiers. Relieve pitchers Petit, Trivino, Rodney, Familia and Treinen pitched 5 1/3 innings during Friday’s win.
Due to the heavy use of relieve pitchers recently, the Athletics were forced to trade for right-hander Cory Gearrin. Gearrin recorded 56 games with both the Giants and Rangers this season and has seen time pitching anywhere from 4 innings to as many as 11 innings.
Taking the mound for the Athletics is right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks. Hendriks has pitched 11 innings for the Athletics while striking out 12 batters. Currently holding a 0-0 record, Hendriks has an ERA of 7.36.
The Athletics are looking for reliever Daniel Mengden to take the mound at some point during tonight’s matchup. This season, Mengden is 6-6 with a 4.28 ERA for the Athletics. However, tonight will be Mengden’s first start since June 23rd when he was able to pitch just two innings.
Mengden has yet to face the Athletics this season but during his two career starts against the club, Mengden is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA.
Mark Canha, Jed Lowrie and Jonathan Lucroy are three names to look out for tonight against Mariners pitcher James Paxton. During Canha’s career against Paxton, Canha has gone 2-for-5 but was struck out twice. Lowrie is 5-for-19 against Paxton but was struck out five times and Lucroy is 6-for-13 in his career with four RBIs and four strikeouts.
Khris Davis is a hit name since the All-Star break for the Athletics currently batting .248 with 39 homeruns for the Athletics.
James Paxton is 10-5 this season for the Mariners with a current ERA of 3.68.
Paxton has spent time on the disabled list after getting hit on the forearm by a line drive off of Jed Lowrie during the August 14th matchup.
Per ESPN, Paxton has been deemed ready to return for one of just five remaining games the Mariner have against the A’s.
During his second start against the A’s this season, Paxton shut out the Athletics in seven innings, striking out a whopping 16 batters but saw the Mariners lose 3-2 on May 2nd.
Paxton has yet to lose against the A’s. During his eight starts against the club, he has a 3-0 record with a 3.50 ERA. Of those starts at Oakland, Paxton is 1-0 with a 4.94 ERA.
Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger could all have big games tonight against Liam Hendriks. Cruz is currently batting .266 while blasting 33 homeruns this season. Against Hendriks, Cruz is batting .333 after going 2-for-6 with three RBIs. Segura is currently batting .317 with 58 RBIs and 20 stolen bases but against Hendriks, Segura is 1-for-1 in his career.
Finally, that leaves us with Haniger who is batting .280 with 84 RBIs and seven stolen bases this season. Against Hendriks, Haniger is 2-for-3 during his career.
This could turn into an important series down the road as both teams continue to fight for a spot in the postseason.