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Preview: Athletics at Mariners
Current Conditions – Seattle
CLOUDY 60 °F
Wind: NNE 8
5-Day Forecast GAME: Oakland Athletics (67-93) at Seattle Mariners (75-85)
DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 03 – 9:10 PM EST
WHERE: Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
Seattle star Robinson Cano will have surgery to repair a sports hernia later this month, but he’ll be in the lineup Saturday as the Mariners continue their season-ending series with the visiting Oakland Athletics. While both teams have dropped nine of their last 12 games, Oakland snapped a five-game losing skid against Seattle with Friday’s 4-2 victory.
Cano, whose recovery process should last about six weeks, is batting .331 since July 1 and said he never thought about sitting down for the season’s final series. “I mean, I love to play baseball and I’ve been playing (with the injury) for the last two months, so why would you just sit down for the next few days and just watch a game?” Cano told reporters. “I love to be out there.” The same could be said for Oakland closer Sean Doolittle, who missed 121 games this season due to injuries but recorded his fourth save Friday while striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth. The Athletics also have received a late-season boost from third baseman Danny Valencia, who has 10 home runs and 34 RBI in 45 games since being claimed off waivers from Toronto on Aug. 3.
TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, CSN California (Oakland), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics LH Sean Nolin (1-2, 5.25 ERA) vs. Mariners LH Roenis Elias (5-8, 3.89)
Nolin has posted a 9.82 ERA over his last two starts after going 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA over his first three outings. The 25-year-old rookie made his season debut against Seattle on Sept. 6, allowing three runs over six innings in the Athletics’ 3-2 loss. Nolin was acquired in the Josh Donaldson trade with Toronto last November, but he spent most of the season on the disabled list due to various injuries.
Elias turned in a quality start against Houston on Monday, when he yielded two runs while striking out five over six frames. The 27-year-old has strengthened his case for a spot in next season’s rotation by going 1-1 with a 1.65 ERA in four games (three starts) since Sept. 7. Elias fell to 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA in four career games (three starts) against the Athletics after allowing three runs in six innings in Oakland on July 2.
1. Cano is batting .357 with four home runs and 11 RBI during his 14-game hitting streak.
2. Seven of Oakland’s 12 losses to Seattle this season have been by one run.
3. Mariners RHP Carson Smith is one strikeout shy of matching Enrique Romo’s 1977 club rookie reliever record of 92.
PREDICTION: Mariners 6, Athletics 4