American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 9th (All times eastern)
Oakland Athletics (78-60) at Seattle Mariners (67-73), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Tommy Milone (11-10, 3.94) Seattle - Jason Vargas (14-9, 3.85)
(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics have their sights set on a sweep of the Seattle Mariners today at Safeco Field.
The A's have posted back-to-back 6-1 victories and received another strong outing from Brett Anderson last night, as he allowed one unearned run in six innings for the victory. Pat Neshek, Sean Doolittle and Evan Scribner held the Mariners off the board the rest of the way.
"His performance, I think, has been more than we could ever expect," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Anderson. "He fought himself a little at times tonight. His stuff always plays."
Yoenis Cespedes, Stephen Drew and Coco Crisp added an RBI apiece for the Athletics, who maintained their lead atop the AL wild card standings. The New York Yankees also are on top in the wild card.
Oakland, which is 4 1/2 games behind Texas for the AL West lead, has won two straight and 11 of its last 14 games. The A's will visit the LA Angels for four games after this set.
The Athletics extended their road winning streak to eight games, the longest since winning eight straight from July 19- Aug. 7, 2005.
The A's hope Tommy Milone can snap out of his funk when he takes the mound this afternoon. Milone is 2-4 with a brutal 5.71 earned run average in his last seven starts and lasted just three innings in an 8-3 setback versus the Angels last time out on Monday.
Milone was tagged for five runs and 10 hits, and dropped to 11-10 in 26 starts while his ERA went from 3.73 to 3.94. Opposing batters are hitting .267 against the left-hander this season. Milone faced the Mariners in a 4-1 win on July 6 and did not factor in the outcome, as he struck out nine and permitted just one run through seven innings.
He is 5-6 in 13 road outings this season.
Seattle has lost nine of its last 15 games and will close out a nine-game homestand this afternoon (3-5).
Hisashi Iwakuma was dealt the loss Saturday for giving up five runs -- four earned -- and six hits in just 3 2/3 innings.
Trayvon Robinson was credited with the lone RBI, while Franklin Gutierrez, Jesus Montero and Michael Saunders had two hits apiece in defeat.
"We're just not getting the production we need; we're just not finishing things off and that's been one of our biggest issues this year offensively, just finishing innings off and taking advantage of opportunities," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
The Mariners will visit Toronto and Texas after this series.
Jason Vargas looks to extend his career-high win total to 15 games when he toes the rubber this afternoon for Seattle. Vargas was 0-1 in three starts before defeating Boston with seven innings of one-run ball, five strikeouts and no walks in a 4-1 win on Monday. He lifted his record to 14-9 in 29 starts to go along with a 3.85 earned run average.
Vargas, who is 7-2 in his previous nine decisions, is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four starts against the Athletics this season. In 13 career matchups (11 starts) with Oakland, the left-handed Vargas is 5-4 with a 3.24 ERA.
09/09 10:36:30 ET