70.8 F
Los Angeles

Mariners desperate to avoid sweep in Oakland

Having failed to produce any late-night magic, the Seattle Mariners hope to get a jump on the American League wild-card competition when they take the field for an afternoon game on Thursday against the host Oakland Athletics.

With a chance to overtake the Tampa Bay Rays (82-67) for the AL’s second wild-card position while at the same time distancing themselves from the Baltimore Orioles (77-71) in their duel for the final postseason spot, the Mariners (81-67) haven’t done either, losing 4-1 and 2-1 in the first two games of the Oakland series.

On both occasions, the Rays had already lost earlier in the evening, so no damage was done, with Tampa Bay retaining a half-game lead. Meanwhile, the Orioles managed to gain a game simply by splitting a pair with the Detroit Tigers, also earlier in the evening, to inch within four games with 14 to play.

The Mariners have totaled just five hits in the series, though Wednesday they made a move they hope will help in the series finale and moving forward.

Jarred Kelenic, who has been mired in a season-long slump but who belted seven home runs in September and October last year, was promoted from Triple-A before the Wednesday game.

He saw no action in the Mariners’ loss, but manager Scott Servais made it clear that despite Kelenic’s .124 average, the former top prospect will get some opportunities to duplicate last year’s success.

  Brewers haven't initiated extension talks with ace Corbin Burnes

“The one thing that stood out for me last year in September for Jarred was he was totally focused on doing whatever helped us win the game that day,” Servais said. “That’s what happens in September. When Jarred is in that mode, like a lot of players, they play much better. They play freer, and hopefully that’s what we see from him.”

If Servais chooses to start the 23-year-old outfielder Thursday, it would be against A’s rookie right-hander Adrian Martinez (4-5, 5.77 ERA). The two have never met on a major league diamond, but both spent much of this season as rivals in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

Martinez has faced the Mariners once this season, taking an 8-6 defeat at Seattle on June 30, when he was charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. He served up homers to Julio Rodriguez and Dylan Moore in that contest.

Martinez hopes he can count upon the type of defense the A’s (55-94) flashed behind James Kaprielian and two relievers on Wednesday. Oakland got a brilliant running catch from second baseman Tony Kemp for the second out of the eighth inning, which brought pinch hitter Luis Torrens to the plate without anyone aboard in a 2-0 game.

Torrens then homered for Seattle’s only run.

“Tony’s been playing unbelievable baseball,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “The catch is a game-saver. If he doesn’t make that play, there’s a runner on base and a two-run homer ties it and we’re in a different ballgame.

  Tyler Anderson is Dodgers' latest free agent gem

“Tony’s playing his best baseball right now. It’s fun to watch.”

In search of just their second win in seven games, the Mariners will counter with a rookie of their own, George Kirby (7-4, 2.98 ERA). The right-hander has lost just once since June 27, going 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 12 starts. The Mariners are 9-3 in those games.

The 24-year-old is 1-0 in three starts against the A’s this season, allowing five runs and striking out 24 in 18 innings.

Kemp has gone 3-for-8 in their head-to-head matchups.


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Latest articles

Angels Stadium Seating Chart

Angels Stadium Seating Chart details you should know before buying a ticket. Angel Stadium of...

Betting on baseball

Betting on baseball can seem confusing at first, but it's actually quite simple once you...

The Astros main X-Factor for 2022 MLB Playoffs

The Houston Astros have once again emerged as the team to beat out of the...

A’s Chad Pinder: Oakland is ‘a place that...

With Stephen Vogt’s retirement announcement last week, the A’s only have one impending free agent...

Subscribe for tips

More like this

Uncertainty looms with Astros’ leadership despite

The Astros wrapped up the top seed in the American League Friday night, having...

Marlins prioritizing high-contact hitters this offseason

For the second straight offseason, the Marlins will head into the winter needing to...

Josh Jung bids to impress as Rangers face Angels

The Texas Rangers will continue to give a strong look to top prospect Josh...

After clincher, Mariners look to improve wild-card

The Seattle Mariners might have a few bleary-eyed players, and even some coaches, when...

MLB roundup: Mariners clinch first playoff bid

Pinch hitter Cal Raleigh hit a tiebreaking, walk-off home run with two outs in...

Offseason outlook for the Oakland Athletics

The 2022 A’s were as bad as expected after trading away Matt Olson, Chris...