An intriguing pitching matchup is on tap Friday between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, as Bartolo Colon squares off against Hisashi Iwakuma.
Colon has been impressive in the twilight of his career and has won each of his last six starts. He is 9-2 in 14 outings to go along with a 2.89 earned run average and threw seven innings of two-run ball in Sunday's 10-2 waxing of the Mariners at the Coliseum.
The veteran right-hander has lasted at least six innings in seven straight trips to the mound and owns a 17-12 mark with a 3.92 ERA in 34 career starts against Seattle.
Seattle will counter with Iwakuma, who looks to rebound from a poor showing his last time out. Iwakuma surrendered four runs and eight hits in five innings of that 10-2 loss to the A's last weekend and his nine-game unbeaten streak (5-0) came to a halt.
Iwakuma is 2-3 with a 4.26 ERA in five career games (4 starts) against the A's.
Oakland has stumbled a bit recently with five losses in the past seven games and just lost three of four matchups with the AL West-rival Texas Rangers. The Rangers were able to trim Oakland's lead atop the division to one game after Thursday's 4-3 decision in Arlington.
Sean Doolittle permitted the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to take the loss and starter A.J. Griffin pitched the first 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and three hits.
"I felt like we had that game to win the entire game," Griffin said. "(The Rangers) capitalized on their opportunities and we had the bases loaded a couple of times and only got one run out of it. I guess they executed their pitches."
The A's outhit the Rangers, 12-8, as Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson finished with three hits apiece.
Seattle is back in the Emerald City for an eight-game homestand and went 3-4 on a recent road trip through Oakland and Anaheim.
The Mariners lost four of the last five installments on the trek, including Thursday's 10-9 loss to the Angels. The Angels pushed two runs across the plate in the bottom of the eighth and Ernesto Frieri struck out two Mariners in a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
Mariners reliever Carter Capps was dealt the loss for his work in the eighth inning and starter Felix Hernandez struggled through five innings, allowing a season-high seven runs -- six earned -- and 12 hits.
"Felix had a bad day. He's human, he just didn't have it. He was all over the place. It was a tough game from an emotional standpoint," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said afterward.
Kyle Seager was 4-for-5 with a two-run home run, three RBI and three runs scored and Raul Ibanez added two RBI for the Mariners.
Seattle has won six of the 10 matchups with Oakland so far this season.