Oakland tries to stay on track at Seattle

The Oakland Athletics know they will open the AL Division Series next week at home. They don't know who they will play just yet as they still have a chance at the league's top seed.

The A's look to do their part on Saturday afternoon in the second contest of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners.

Oakland secured at least the second seed in the AL with Friday's 8-2 win over Seattle, coupled with a loss by Detroit to Miami. The Athletics also sit two games back of the Boston Red Sox for the best record in the AL with two games left to play, so they would need to win both games versus the Mariners and have the Red Sox lose their final two games as well.

Bartolo Colon is likely to get the ball in Game 1 for Oakland after throwing another gem on Friday in picking up his 18th win of the season. The veteran gave up just a pair of solo homers over six innings while striking out eight.

"He's been phenomenal. He had that stretch that stood out because of how good he has been all year. He had that break and seemed like he came back rejuvenated and is back to throwing the ball the way he has," said A's manager Bob Melvin.

Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer and Derek Norris added a two-run shot and drove in three runs in all. The Athletics snapped a two-game slide and have won six of their last eight.

Melvin did see outfielder Yoenis Cespedes exit the game in the fourth inning with shoulder stiffness, an ailment that has been nagging him. He could sit out the final two games of the regular season.

The Mariners got solo homers from Franklin Gutierrez and Kendrys Morales after finding out before the game that manager Eric Wedge informed the franchise he would not return for the 2014 season.

"I accept Eric's decision not to return and thank him for his hard work here the past three years. I want to wish him and his family all the best in the future," said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik.

Felix Hernandez gave up Moss' three-run homer among five hits over six innings to absorb his fifth loss in as many decisions. He fanned six and walked just one in the setback, but did surpass 200 innings on the season.

Oakland beat Seattle for just the second time in the past six meetings and sends 24-year-old Jarrod Parker to the mound today.

Parker went 13-8 with a 3.47 earned run average in 29 starts last year, his first full season in the majors, and is 12-7 with a 3.74 ERA in 31 outings this year.

The righty had a 19-start unbeaten streak (9-0) snapped with a setback to the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 16, but bounced back to beat Minnesota on Saturday. Parker allowed one run on four hits over six innings without a walk.

Parker is 2-1 with a 3.62 ERA in four starts this year versus Seattle and will be opposed by 23-year-old Brandon Maurer.

Maurer returned to the rotation for the first time since May this month and has made three starts, going 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA. However, the righty is coming off a quality outing versus Kansas City on Monday.

He did not get a decision after allowing just one earned run on four hits and a walk in seven innings. Maurer was also charged with an unearned run and fanned six.

Maurer is 4-8 with a 6.48 ERA in 21 games (13 starts) this season and 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA lifetime versus the A's.