When he was last on the mound at Safeco Field, Hisashi Iwakuma was mobbed by his teammates in what has been the pinnacle of his return from a frustrating injury.
Now the right-hander looks to continue his stellar stretch when the Seattle Mariners try to send the Oakland Athletics to their longest road skid in 10 years Monday night.
Iwakuma has been a much different pitcher since posting a 7.17 ERA over his first four starts and missing two and a half months with a strained muscle in his back and side. He's gone 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA while Seattle (57-67) has won seven of his last eight outings.
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Iwakuma (5-2, 3.74 ERA) has been particularly good in August, going 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four starts.
He threw the fourth individual no-hitter in Mariners history Aug. 12, joining Hideo Nomo as the only Japanese pitchers to do it in a 3-0 win over Baltimore.
The drama ended early Tuesday as he allowed a hit in the first inning at Texas. He went on to yield two runs and five hits while striking out six over seven in a 3-2 victory.
"I'm proud of what I've been doing the last couple starts, just helping the team win," Iwakuma told MLB's official website through his translator. "As a starter, you want to go as long as you can in each game and I think I've been able to do that with quality starts."
Iwakuma's only meeting with the A's in the past two seasons was a 6-2 home win July 12, 2014, in which he gave up two runs over 8 2-3 innings.
Billy Burns had three hits and Mark Canha was 2 for 4 with four RBIs Sunday for Oakland (54-71), which scored seven times in the seventh inning en route to an 8-2 win over visiting Tampa Bay.
''The numbers might not totally reflect how resilient this team is,'' said reliever Sean Doolittle, who made his first appearance since late May due to a strained left shoulder. "They've come back an awful lot this year. To a man, they fight.''
The A's, however, have been outscored 62-27 during an eight-game road losing streak. They haven't dropped nine straight on the road since an 11-game slide in 2005.
Felix Doubront (1-1, 3.89) will try to help snap the skid in his second start since joining Oakland's rotation. He allowed no earned runs and one hit while striking out a season-high eight over six innings of Tuesday's 5-4, 10-inning win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four career games - two starts - against the Mariners.
After totaling 15 runs during a 1-4 stretch, Seattle went 5 for 9 with runners in scoring position Sunday and snapped a three-game skid with an 8-6 win over the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Robinson Cano hit his 14th home run and Nelson Cruz extended his on-base streak to a career-high 33 games. Cano, however, is 2 for 21 against Doubront.
The Mariners are 7-3 against the A's and swept them in three games at Safeco in May.