Seattle (61-96) at Oakland (89-68)

Rain Currently: Oakland, CA, US
Temp: 51° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 29, 2004
  • TV: FSNW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Oakland Athletics no longer have the Anaheim Angels in their rearview mirror. But Ichiro Suzuki has George Sisler well within his sights.

The struggling A’s will try to hold on to their share of the AL West lead when they continue a four-game series with Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners at Network Associates Coliseum.

The A’s entered Tuesday with a one-game lead over Anaheim in the West, but suffered a 7-2 loss to the Mariners. The Angels defeated Texas 8-2 on Tuesday, leaving Oakland without sole possession of first place for the first time in 54 days, since the team was a half-game behind Texas on Aug. 5.

The 53 days in first was the A’s longest stretch on top of the division since they spent the final 61 days of the 1992 season in the lead. Oakland is seeking its fifth straight postseason appearance, and third consecutive division crown.

Suzuki went 2-for-5 with a run scored for Seattle, leaving him four hits shy of Sisler’s 84-year-old single-season record of 257. He also needs one more run to give him four straight seasons with 100 or more. The Mariners have five games remaining.

“Five games left and it’s been a good season for me. I hope I don’t regret anything and go out there and finish it off,” Suzuki said.

Bret Boone hit a two-run homer and Jeremy Reed had three hits and an RBI for the Mariners, who tagged A’s starter Tim Hudson for 11 hits and all seven runs in six innings.

“We’re not supermen out there,” Hudson said. “All those darn September callups, that’s our kryptonite, I guess. Five games left and we’re all knotted up. We need to win three of five and they (Anaheim) need to lose three of five.”

The A’s had a four-game lead heading into Sept. 5 but have gone 8-14 since. They are 11-15 this month, their biggest loss total in one month since going 10-17 in May 2002. Oakland went 70-30 the past four Septembers—the best mark in the majors.

The loss was Oakland’s sixth in the last eight games, including two losses to Anaheim. The Angels have won four in a row and have gained considerable momentum heading into what could be a decisive three-game series starting Friday in Oakland.

Seattle is trying to avoid its first 100-loss season since 1983.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Madritsch KC vs. R. Harden MIN
6-3 Record 11-7
3.27 ERA 3.99
60 K 167
33 BB 81
1.22 WHIP 1.33